The onset of snow in the middle of a workday has in the past led to hours of gridlock traffic for commuters in the D.C. area.
It’s been a mild season so far, but D.C. is making sure it won't be caught off guard during a major snowstorm. The city's top officials held a disaster-planning exercise Thursday to prepare for the worst.
The doomsday scenario: "snowmaggedon 2.0," meaning back-to-back blizzards that have left D.C. covered in several feet of snow, similar to the storms that hit the area in February of 2010. During that storm, the federal government was closed for nearly a week while the city dug out.
Mayor Vincent Gray and hundreds of city employees gathered in a giant room at the IMF building in downtown D.C. to practice the city’s response. One key change is the city's approach to those who may have been caught at work during the storm.
"We are asking people to shelter in place, what we mean by that, stay put, don’t go out and get in a traffic jam," Gray said.
D.C. will also make efforts to better communicate with neighboring jurisdictions and the federal government to get the word out and manage traffic, according to officials.