Hoping to avoid a repeat of last year's paralyzing snow storms, District officials deployed a snow team Jan. 11 to help ward off a wintry mix of rain, sleet and snow that could possibly result in a 3-inch accumulation in the city. "For the second time this season, it looks like we will be spared a direct hit from a powerful storm that will strike up north," Department of Public Works Director William Howland, said in an early morning press statement. "But we still could get some accumulation, enough to plow even and we are prepared."

Because the National Weather Service issued an advisory predicting snow would begin falling by 3 p.m., District crews have been treating elevated surfaces and residential streets. In addition, more than 200 trucks loaded with salt, will be used to plow some 1,100 miles of roadway throughout the city.

However, as required by law, residents and businesses are reminded to be prepared to clear walkways adjacent to their homes and properties. "It is our responsibility to make sure the roadways are treated, plowed and passable," said Department of Transportation Interim Director Terry Bellamy. "But many people moving around the city are on foot, and we need every property owner to pitch in to ensure the sidewalks are as safe and clear as the streets."

Meanwhile, as Metro advises riders to expect normal service during the inclement weather, and encourage them to exercise care entering and exiting rail stations, PEPCO is also preparing for the storm that is expected to continue a northeast path through Wednesday, Jan. 12. PEPCO warns residents that heavy wet snow and strong winds could bring tree limbs on to wires, resulting in power outages — that could also be caused by motorists skidding into utility poles.