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Trash and recycling collection has been suspended for the rest of the week as the city prepares for potential snow tonight just days after Monday’s snowstorm.

The city has previously said trash collection days would operate a day or two behind schedule, but a press release from the City of Alexandria today noted that the city is dealing with a perfect storm of issues hindering trash-recovery operations.

“Due to staffing shortages caused by COVID-19, safety issues related to the forecasted overnight snow and to prioritize resources to prepare for and respond to the inclement weather, curbside recycling, trash, yard waste and Christmas tree collection will not take place this week,” the city said in the release. “There will be no sliding of routes and days as previously communicated. Collection crews will be mobilized tonight and tomorrow to support and respond to the forecasted snow tomorrow.”

The city asked that residents hold their trash until collection resumes next week, but for urgent disposals, the city said residents can drop off small amounts of trash free-of-charge at the COVANTA Waste-to-Energy Facility (5301 Eisenhower Ave.) Monday through Friday from 6 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday from 6 a.m.-11:30 a.m. The city noted those hours could change based on weather conditions.

“City crews continue to respond to tree and brush damage due to Monday’s storm,” the release said. “The City has added arborist contractor resources and is adding bulk yard waste collection resources to assist in the collection of tree and brush. City refuse collection customers who need tree and brush collection will be able to submit a request via Alex311. Items must be properly prepared for collection to be picked up by City crews.”

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It was the best of times and the worst of times for many Alexandrians this week.

Monday’s snowstorm shut down many services around the area — delaying trash pickup, canceling bus service, and more — but also offered some winter fun around Alexandria.

Alexandria students didn’t quite get snow days on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday — with Alexandria City Public Schools going to virtual learning — but students had today off while staff still had to work.

If you’re more in the anti-snow camp a word of warning: there’s more expected tonight.

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Just three days after a snowstorm hit Alexandria, the National Weather Service (NWS) has issued an advisory that more snow could be incoming tomorrow night.

A winter weather advisory is in effect from 9 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday) to 5 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 7.

The NWS warned to expect a total snow accumulation of around 2-4 inches, with isolated amounts of 5 inches possible and the heaviest snowfall expected between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. The advisory covers much of the D.C. area, including Alexandria.

“Plan on slippery road conditions,” the NWS warned. “The hazardous conditions could impact the Friday morning commute.”

From NWS:

233 PM EST Wed Jan 5 2022

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM 9 PM THURSDAY TO 5 AM EST FRIDAY…

* WHAT…Snow. Total snow accumulations 2 to 4 inches. Isolated high amounts of around 5 inches are possible.

* WHERE…The District of Columbia, portions of northern and central Maryland, and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…From 9 PM Thursday to 5 AM EST Friday.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions could impact the Friday morning commute.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…The heaviest snow is expected between 10 PM and 2 AM when snowfall rates of 1 inch per hour are possible.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS…

Slow down and use caution while traveling.

When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.

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For the third day in a row, in-person school is canceled and Alexandria students will be expected to attend virtual classes.

Alexandria City Public Schools (ACPS) said ongoing icy conditions are to blame for the cancellation of in-person classes.

Schools were virtual on Monday during the winter storm and again today, though these plans were frustrated in part by widespread internet outages — and some bemoaned the end of the snow day.

Around 95% of the city’s arterial roads are passable, according to the city’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Services, and nearly 65% of the secondary streets are passable. As of Tuesday afternoon, plow trucks were starting to work through residential streets.

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A day after 10 inches of snow was dumped on the region, 95% of Alexandria’s primary roadways are now “passable”, according to the City’s Department of Transportation and Environmental Services.

The Department also tweeted that 65% of the city’s secondary streets are passable, and that crews are working toward intermediate streets. There are also still three open requests to clear away snow from the city’s Arlandria neighborhood, according to the city.

The storm led to a two-day closure of the city government and virtual learning for Alexandria City Public Schools.

Still, the Alexandria Fire Department says the were no “unusual” storm-related calls for service.

“Like our neighboring mutual aid partners, AFD was very busy on Jan. 3 during the heavy snow,” AFD Senior Public Information Officer Raytevia Evans told ALXnow. “With our Logistics Section running the snow plow and our maintenance shop available to work through any mechanical issues that came up, we were able to work through delays due to the weather.”

Evans continued, “There were no particularly unusual calls related to weather, but the department remained busy throughout the day.”

Photo via John Antonielli

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Xfinity outage map, photo via Comcast

(Updated 3:40 p.m.) Internet service is down for many Alexandrians as Comcast works to get its network up and running again after yesterday’s snowstorm.

According to the Xfinity outage map, there are several thousand Alexandria affected by the ongoing internet outage, most of them in Del Ray and Arlandria.

Yesterday, Alexandria emergency services were hit with downed power lines city-wide, closing streets and causing localized power outages. Kristie Fox, vice president of communications for the Comcast Beltway Region, said that the internet service is dealing with a combination of local power outages and damage to a fiber cable in the area.

“Separately from the overall winter storm power outages, there was a power line that fell on our fiber today as a result of the storm and that caused a fire that is also impacting our service,” Fox said. “We’re having multiple crews on-site working to restore service.”

Del Ray resident Mark Stephenson said that last night around 8:30 p.m. one of the power lines between Rosemont and Del Ray was damaged. Stephenson noted that work crews from Dominion Energy responded quickly and have been working on repairs.

“Around 8:30 p.m. there was a huge boom and flash of light which we thought at first was a tree falling, but then I could see some flames on a line,” Stephenson said. “It seemed a heavy branch had fallen on the line. We called the fire department who came out almost immediately to rope off the street, along with APD. Then around 9:30 it happened again, and that’s when the internet went down.”

As of this afternoon, Stephenson said he was watching as a team from Xfinity was working to repair around 400 feet of cable.

In addition to the fiber damage, Fox said there can be some confusion about how power outages impact internet service.

“Once power is restored to home, internet can be restored, but power needs to come on first,” Fox said, “and even though power might be restored to an individual home, it might not be restored to a Comcast distribution point that serves a neighborhood. There could be instances where one person on a street and a neighbor down the block doesn’t because of a distribution point.”

Some locals on Twitter said they’ve seen 4 p.m. as an estimated restoration time, but Fox was hesitant to put an exact estimated time for repairs because it could vary from household to household.

“Some of it will be dependent on whether it was customers affected by fire in one area or the broader storm,” Fox said.

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One day after a severe snowstorm hit Alexandria, some things are returning to normal while other services remain closed.

Alexandria bus service DASH suspended service yesterday, but has since returned with snow routes — adjusted routes following more thoroughly cleared sections of roadway.

https://twitter.com/DASHBus/status/1478381102976978948

City facilities had a delayed reopening at 10 a.m. today with local courts remaining closed. Alexandria libraries scheduled to open at 10 a.m. will instead be opening at noon to give staff time to clear off the sidewalks. The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria is open by-appointment starting at noon.

Alexandria City Public Schools has moved to virtual schooling for the second day in a row.

Those who set their trash, recycling, yard waste or leaf collection out today may have already discovered this, but the Monday collection has slid to Wednesday, Jan. 5., with every day offset by two after that.

Meanwhile, the city said in a press release that road and sidewalk clearing is still underway and property owners should be clearing sidewalks.

“Roads are plowed by priority,” the city said. “Snow emergency routes are plowed first, followed by secondary routes, intermediate routes, and then residential streets… Clearing sidewalks, driveways, and entrances is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner, occupant, community association, or business. The recent storm event has been declared Level 2. As a result, responsible parties have 48 hours from the end of snowfall at 2 p.m. on Monday, January 3 to clear paths. The deadline for clearing paths and walkways is Wednesday, January 5, at 2 p.m.”

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Morning Notes

Alexandria engine 209 working in the snow on the corner of Mount Ida and Sanford, photo courtesy John Antonelli

Federal workers and Alexandria students didn’t get much of a snow day — “The logic of days off for inclement weather has fundamentally changed during the pandemic.” [Washingtonian]

Your Photos: Alexandria’s biggest snowstorm in years — “About 8 inches of wet, heavy snow blanketed Alexandria Monday.” [Alexandria Living Magazine]

Alexandria police mourn veteran officer who shared community spirit — “Police in Alexandria, Virginia, mourn the death of Sergeant Charlette Mitchell, a veteran member of the department known for her service to the community.” [WTOP]

New Year’s millionaire raffle $1M ticket bought in Belle Haven — “One of four tickets with a $1 million prize was bought at the Belle View Shopping Center, according to the Virginia Lottery.” [Patch]

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Today (Monday) marked a return to virutal learning due to a severe snow storm, and with many roads still dangerous or impassable, Alexandria City Public Schools has announced that tomorrow will be a virtual day as well.

ACPS announced late last year that snow days might be a thing of the past after the school division became relatively proficient in virtual learning — a necessity caused by COVID-19.

Even as crews work to recover from today’s heavy snowfall, it’s expected to snow again Thursday evening.

The full ACPS press release is below:

Due to winter weather conditions, all ACPS schools and offices will be closed for in-person learning and activities on Tues., Jan 4, 2022. Per our previous communications to families on winter weather decisions, schools will implement virtual learning on Tues., Jan. 4, 2022.

Class times will include virtual teacher-led office hours and asynchronous instruction times. Asynchronous learning happens when students learn the same material but at different times and locations without live instruction.

Please see https://www.acps.k12.va.us/weather for updates, details and answers to frequently asked questions. Students should have their computers/learning devices at home with them. Attendance will be taken through logging into Clever and Canvas. No new content will be taught and grades should not be assigned on virtual learning days.

Elementary School Students: Virtual learning at the elementary level is intended to keep students engaged academically when inclement weather prevents in-person learning. Time on task with the curriculum-based apps and computer-adaptive programs that students access routinely at school is the primary means of providing a meaningful virtual experience on snow and inclement weather days. Although there will be no delivery of new content, students will be able to devote time to completion of projects and assignments already in progress as posted on Canvas and Clever.Teachers will host office hours ranging from 30 to 60 minutes at the beginning of each day. We do not expect students to operate on a time schedule, but aim for two hours of asynchronous learning in grades Pre-K – 1 and up to four hours in grades 2 – 5.

Middle School Students: Each middle school will follow its normal schedule in regard to asynchronous work completion and specific teacher office hours. The blocks of time will be asynchronous with teachers being available during each block they teach for office hours and student support during the first 45 minutes of each class. Students may access the zoom link for office hours from each teacher’s Canvas page.  Elective teachers who have daily classes will be available for office hours for the first 20 minutes of each class. Advisory teachers will be available during the first 15 minutes of the advisory period to assist students with questions and organization.

High School Students: The high school will follow its normal schedule. The blocks of time will be asynchronous with teachers being available during each block they teach for office hours and student support. During these timeframes, students will work on assignments posted on Canvas. The work will be done asynchronously and the “amount” of work should not exceed the length of the traditional class period. The teacher will be available for at least 45 mins during each period for office hours to assist students.

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Walking in snow-covered streets, shoveling out submerged cars and all the other telltale signs of a snowstorm were seen in Alexandria on Monday (Jan. 3).

Nearly one foot of snow fell on Alexandria from the morning throughout the afternoon, prompting the closure of the city government and virtual learning for Alexandria City Public Schools. Many eateries throughout the city are still open, including in Del Ray and Old Town.

The National Weather Service’s Winter Storm Warning remains in effect until 4 p.m., and Tuesday is expected to be sunny with a high of 37 degrees.

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