tv News 4 at 4 NBC February 10, 2010 4:00pm-4:50pm EST
welcome back. congratulations, folks. we have topped a record. the snowiest winter eve in our region. i'm jim handley. >> we're number one. i'm wendy rieger. we've been on the air all day keeping you informed on what you need to know in this blizzard of 2010. 18,000 people are without power throughout our area. metro is operating underground stations only. amtrak has canceled much of its service in our area. flights are canceled at all of our local arirports. the federal government is closed for a third day now. all major school districts are closed. for a complete list, go to nbcwashington.com. we have a team of reporters fanned out across our region. let's start off with julie carey. she's live in vienna with the latest there. have you seen any slack out there yet, julie? >> conditions have improved out here in the last t hours. the skies have started to brighten. we're just barely getting
flurries. it feels a little bit warmer. conditions are a lot better. maple avenue here in the heart of vienna, coming back to life. a lot of people out on the street. people driving still mostly in suvs. but earlier today, walking was about the only safe form of travel. that wasn't even very safe because of those extreme conditions earlier in the day. i came from alexanda out to vienna with my photographer. and i want you to take a look and a listen to a little bit of what our drive was like as we made our way out here. we're on route 110. just past arlington cemetery, headed toward rosalind. you can see that white pickup truck right up ahead, you can hardly see it. in fact, i can't -- he doesn't have his lights on or they're so snow-covered you can't see them. he's gone. we have a swirl of snow in his wake. out on i-66 now. as you can see, it is a ghost
road literally and figuratively. coming up here to the glebe road ramp in about 3/4 of a mile. it's just to our south in just a minute. we've probably got visibility of less than a quarter of a mile for sure. seems to be more inbound traffic right now than outbound. on my outbound trip so far, i have not seen a car. again, as we come under the overpa overpass, some of the trucks just waiting for conditionso improve so it's not quite so hazardous for them out on the roads. and back into the whiteout again here. this is -- you can see how quickly the conditions can change out here.
i had a little bit of visibility a minute ago. then you'll just a huge blast of wind and snow that obliterates anything. we drive so you don't have to. that's what it was like, the white-knuckle drive. you saw those vdot plows under the overpasses. during the time we made that run because 11:30 and 12:30, there was a time perio where every overpass we hit, they were waiting underneath. i think they pulled off the road for a while to take a break, to work on any fixes they needed to make before they rolled back out again. but the roads are in -- the big roads are in remarkably good shape. back to you now in the studio. >> we're monitoring a live news conference, governor martin o'malley. let's listen in now. >> there are three vehicles piled up near the icc construction. route 13 bypass, we have one truck and eight vehicles. round 140 and westminster, a tractor-trailer and several
cars. state police have been doing a lot of work out there, as have our state highys. i want to thank the people of maryland for heeding the warnings and staying off the roads. with regard to power outages, w stand now at approximately 17,000. if you've been watching the map with us here at the emergency operations center, you notice that in montgomery county, the number of power outages have come greatly down while the number has spiked in northeast maryland where we've seen in cecil county and the upper shore some of the heaviest snowfall and therefore no doubt greatest numbers of fallen trees, fallen branches and the other things affecting the power lines. so in cecil county, we've seen 7,400 power outages with regard to customers that are out of power. we're working to help them as quickly as we can. salt supply, as you know, much of the salt supply was running low. we've had to redeploy. fortunately, the problem was in the distribution of that supply during these whiteout and blizzard conditions, not with
regard to the sfupply itself. we want to thank the national guard for the convoy that's helped us. they are, as we speak, restocking on the border between prince george's and montgomery county. they'll be running those operations so long as they are able to stay awake and behind the wheels. also, we have national guard deployed to help the paramedics and the ambulance services throughout our state, saving lives and making sure that they get through when we need 911 help. to neighbors around our state who are accustomed to seeing the roads scraped down to the pavement, that will not happen and will not conceivably be able to happen for several days. we ask you to understand that. and understand that your counties are all working hard. your city governments are working hard, but our goal right now has to be for these next 48 hours public safety, public safety first, keeping those roads passable. not scraping them dn and staying there forever until they're scraped down to pavement.
we can't stay on one straight forever. we have to kee them as passable as they can for the humvees and ambulances to get in there if, god forbid, your mom or dad needs to go to the emergency room. we want to get in there and save lives. so stop already with the scrape my street down to the pavement. that cannot happen for the next 72 hours and we ask that you be the great citizens, great americans that you are and bear with us through this emergency. that kind of wraps it up from my standpoint with regard to the updates. let us open it up to any questions that you all may have, members of the media. david collins, channel 11. >> thank you, governor. how long will the state of emergency remain in effect? is there an end point here? >> yeah, how long will the state of emergency remain in effect? well, until the departure of this second snowman of the great apocalypse. if there's a third or fourth
horseman, the emergency will go back into effect. david, i don't know. i might as well announce right now that we'll be closing state offices tomorrow. there's just -- given the recommendation from state highways and the conditions that they anticipate, we'll be closing state highways tomorrow. so the emergency order will be in effect for the next 24 hours and we'll play it by ear after that. john from fox. [ inaudible ] yes. we've been doing great work with the truckers' association. excuse me, marathon motor carriers association and we've been notifying the trucking companies. also, we've been working with virginia as well as pennsylvania to put the message boards up. our neighbors in pennsylvania had to close route 80, route 81,
route 83 and we've been coordinating logistics with them. they experienced a lot of whiteout conditions and snow blindness and we were able to get in touch with virginia to put those up on the messaging boards. wee seen a great reduction in the amount of truck traffic that is on the highway right now. we appreciate that. to those that are shipping goods and things across interstate lines, we appreciate their heeding the warning and bringing their truckers in for the time being until these blizzard conditions pass. we have never seen a point in our state's recent history where every single county was lit up red to show that we're under blizzard conditions for the entire state. all of that communication has got great and has greatly red e reduced the truck traffic. yes, sir? >> you've been listening to martin o'malley saying that they remain under a state of emergency in that state. the state offices will be closed again tomorrow. and this state was one of the
heaviest-hit. they are still under blizzard conditions as he just said. he's telling people to be beige for the next 72 hours as they'll try to make your road passable, but you're not going to be seeing pavement for a while. >> the second snowman of the great apocalypse he called it. one of those counties lit up in red, prince george's county. john is live with the latest from there. john, how is it looking out your way? >> you know what, jim? it is not looking too good. i just listened to julie talk about vienna, how conditions are improving. we are just the opposite. it is cold and wet. even worse than that, it's windy. we've had trouble all day just getting our shot up. if our shot goes out, i apologize. the wind is just creating havoc on our live truck. now, i kind of knew we were in for a rough day. we check understood the hotel last night. as soon as we walked up to the desk, the power went out. it did come back on. it flickered two more times. luckily the power stayed on for the rest of t night. of course we woke up to cold showers once again. we've been able to stay positive
and smile because so many people here in this area are staying positive themselves. let's take a look outside and see what things look like here on the road. this is 301. there aren't too many cars out here. you can see it's kind of dezarted. i don't know if we can get a shot of the stoplights, but they've just been swaying back and forth as this blizzard has just been trampling this area here. the only cars we've seen out on the road are either emergency vehicles or a four-by-four truck. clearly if you have anything other than the four-by-four truck, it's going to be hard getting through this stuff. now, we talked to people in the hotel with us. they are staying there overnight or as many days as they have to because they, a, work in the area and they can't get home or if they live thin the area and don't have power, they've decided to come to the hotel. there are some stores open here in the area. coming up, stay with us. we'll show you which stores are open and on that note, i have to
give a shout out to domino's. they're delivering pizzas in the snow. robar roba roberto, thank you so much. we'll show you what stores are open and how people are getting there. back to you guys. >> a well-fed john. >> thanks, john. heavy snow has caused several roofs to collapse around the washington area. these are pictures from the smithsonian museum support center in prince george's county. this is a warehouse that stores artifacts that are not currently on display in the smithsonian museums. >> there's no word what, if anytng, was damaged. firefighters are reminding you to get out of any building. if you notice the ceiling buckling or cracking or bulging or if it sounds like it might collapse. this story has been played out across our region. safe to say we'll be seeing more of those. >> the historic snowstorm, the worst winter in washington
these were the blizzard conditions earlier along massachusetts avenue. bassy row in washington, d.c. it was a bit like a ghost town there. just a few cars on the road and it was -- it was a whiteout for much of this day right there on that major artery. >> but the good news is that the storm is starting to edge away from our area. finally. so it looks like we're starting to feel like we survived it. pat collins has been living
at -- well, he's been living at connecticut avenue, but he's not there at the moment. >> i think he's chowing down on something that somebody brought him. so we'll go to tom sherwood. tom tom, are you still sveling out there? >> well, i'm not shoveling now, but i do have news. congresswoman eleanor holmes norton said she's going to ask president obama to declare this whole washington region an emergency zone. what that will do is that will allow the entire region to be eligible for federal funds to help defray the cost of this cleanup after the storm is over. it doesn't mean that there will be federal troops out or anything like that, but it will mean it will clear up some federal funds which every jurisdiction in this region, as you know, is having some kind of budget problem, whether the counties or the states or the
city itself. so eleanor holmes norton says she's going to be asking president obama to declare this region a national emergency for the region so that we can get some federal money to pay the people who are doing the hard work. now i'll go back to shoveling. >> thank you. >> yes. >> good news there. >> hospitals in virginia and maryland are asking for volunteers with four-wheel-drives. they need people to pick up and drive home the hospital staff. in maryland, the volunteers are needed at holy cross hospital, the doctors community hospital and southern maryland hospital center. in virginia, fairfax, alexandria and mt. vernon and dominion hospital, they all need people to come and help them shuttle their critical staff to and from the hospital. they have to be there. >> so essential. our continuing coverage of the blizzard of 2010, this historic day, continues right after the
all right. we are back with more of our coverage. those are the snow plows. much of the day they were idled because it was too rough for even them to get out. now with this storm starting to edge away from us, they are starting to getting in to clear off this next foot of snow that we have gotten throughout the day. >> yeah. the plows did it in d.c. for a spell. also in montgomery county. pepco also sheltered in place because it was too dangerous to get out there. as you see right there, you can't see, there was very, very little visibility, if any at all. well, chris gordon saw his share of plow trucks driving by in bethesda throughout this day. chris, how is the scene out there now? >> well, when you can see, you see trucks. but it's blowing. it's whipping up. we're back into a whiteout situation. we welcome to the north pole dan hellie who has made quite a journey. >> yeah. it was funny. i actually saw you on a little
while ago and i was coming here to relieve you so you could leave. so i walk from -- oh, about a mile and a half from downtown bethesda and saw people walking in pairs, a couple of kids going sledding, a couple of cross-country skiers. shortly after i got here, the hardest part of the walk was the crescent trail because it's a trail and they haven't plowed it yet. i met francois smith who is from south carolina. he was going for a jog. jogging basically in a big circle around bethesda in running shoes. and he was jogging on the crescent trail. so this is probably the most interesting character that i met on my little journey here. it certainly has gotten a lot windier since we started. >> it's all comparative. you were inside most of the day. this is what the whiteout feels like, looks like. how would you describe the wind gusts? >> well, it just started up a few minutes ago. it wasn't that bad.
w but i don't know, 20, 30 miles an hour. it's funny when you talk wind gusts. i'm used to talking hurricanes having spent six years down in florida. you feel those 70, 80 miles an hour. this, of course, nothing compared to that. but when you get the snow in your face and it's whipping around, it just died down so it's not too bad. >> well, we're on river road. you mentioned seeing cross-country skiers on the crescent trail. we found a cross-country skier on river road. if we have it, let's show the people. oh, we don't have it. okay. >> tell the story. >> i'll tell the story. right here on river road, we had a cross-country skier and his friend had to carry his skis because his boots were like 30 years old. i mean, when do you use cross-country skis in this area? we've had relatively light winters up until now. i wanted to talk to you just a little bit about the caps tonight. >> yeah. the guys are playing in montgomery tonight, going for 15
in a row. it's a blessing really in the sports world right now that we have the capitals with all of the other stuff that's been going on, specifically the wizards. hopefully they get 15 in a row tonight. i guarantee you they have less snow north of the border than we do here. >> you used your flip phone as you came here. we'll try to show the people later those pictures. if you want to relieve me, that's okay. we'll talk to the people back at the station. if we're all on the same page, i'll say good night. >> so get some sleep. >> we'll see. back to you in the studio. >> thank you, guys. >> you know, now it's a historic storm. it has moved up to number one in winter, right? >> that's right. over 30 inches for the month of february. but most important, we've gotten close to 55 inches so far now for the season. one for the record books here. and hopefully we're not going to get another one in our lifetime. so somebody said, well, where is the storm? well, another nor'easter for us.
our great white hurricane. it's been deepening off the coast, making its way northward today. you see the spin there. the counterclockwise motion. the center off of northern central new jersey right now. right about there. there's the spin. the moisture still coming in. let me show you which way it's moving. it's kind of changed throughout the day. here's a look at the loop over the last couple of hours. just look how it's moving down to the south. so folks down through charles county where it looked like the snow was ending earlier, well, now you've got some more moisture that's pushing on down to the south. around waldorf and dale city, making its way further down to the south with some very, very strong north and northwesterly winds. again, that's the reason that we're under a blizzard warning until 7:00 p.m. let's zoom in and see who still has the snow and where the snow has ended. it's ended right now in fairfax and prince william and fauquier. i doubt you'll have much more. but points down south, again,
and off to the east will have snow continuing here for just a little while longer. just a couple more hours here up until about 8:00 or 9:00 p.m. i'll take the winter mosaic off here. you can see the darker colors. silver spring, clinton, there's moderate snow falling across the area. gusty winds, too, up around 40, 45 miles per hour. these strong winds are going to hang on until 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning. look at nantucket. right now, 40 miles per hour wind gusts. and probably increasing through the evening as that stormystem moves up the coast. from 10 to 20 inches, d.c. to frederick, a whole lot of snow. these are the locations off to the east and up to the north. they'll have additional snow, perhaps another two to three inches. look at jennifer smith. somewhere under there, her car. it's just covered in snow. the day to clean it and clear it out tomorrow, hopefully she'll get a chance to. this one from malcolm johnson,
american university. the canopy at mary gradin just across the street from the studios of nbc4 collapsed with all of the snow. send in your pictures. we'll get them on. we'll look at the seven-day forecast in just a few minutes. >> all right. keep those pictures coming. one of the only ways to get around today other than on your feet was on metro's underground line. how is metro running now? >> good afternoon. we are still running the underground portion of the metro rail system. it will run until midnight. the following lines, the redline between medical center and union station, the blue and between boston and stadium armny, the greenline and the yellowline shuttle, that is the only service that we are operating today. that is again strictly the underground system. trains are running about every 24 to 30 minutes. >> all right.
at 4:30, welcome back to our special continuing coverage of our blizzard of 2010. this winte now is now historic. we've had more snow this winter than ever before in the history of washington. we have risen to the top. >> we've been on the air all day keeping you informed with what you need to know. big story of this day, again, let's take a look at the latest on the power outage numbers. still affecting thousands across our area this afternoon. these numbers could be growing.
pepco is reporting about 5,700 without power in d.c. that's larger than last we reported. dominion has more than 4,400 customers out in virginia. baltimore gas and electric has over 5,400 with no power. and northern virginia's electric cooperative has about 250 customers without power. and the southern maryland electric cooperative reports almost -- just 200 without power at this hour. >> all right. so power companies have service work crews working around the clock but they won't know where to go unless you call and tell them. call 1-888-667-3000 to report your power is out. pepco, 1-877-737-2662. bge, call 1-800-685-0123. if you see any sparking lines, call as well for that. of course, your power outages. >> we have d.c., virginia and maryland covered for you.
elaine reyes is live for us once again in rockville. what are conditions like there now, elaine? >> oh, man. they haven't let up at all. joining us now to tell us more about what he has seen on the roads is lieutenant hack from montgomery police. you don't have a hat on. >> no, ma'am. that's our problem today. >> what have you seen today? >> i've been out since 5:30 this morning. it was a slight snow this morning. around 10:00, the winds picked up. it's very dangerous. it's white conditions. the traffic isextremely light out here. citizens are heeding our warnings by staying home, stay with your family, have dinner, play games, do other things. you need to let the department of transportation do their job by clearing the roads and let us do our job. >> martin o'malley talked about the roads and just telling people in neighborhoods not to expect any plows for the next 72 hours.
have any plows decided to come back out since that was suspended earlier today? >> well, for about six hours we didn't see much -- many of the plows on the road. mour however, i've seen a lot of commercial vehicles out there and they're doing a good job. i was on rockville pike. i've been on route 28, georgia avenue. it was clear. but these winds in a matter of minutes, it can be covered up again. >> have you been on the interstates at all? what is 270 like? have you seen anything out there? >> i've been advised by the state police that it's dangerous because of the whiteout conditions. they did a good job plowing but in a matter of minutes it's covered again. we recommend people stay off the highways. >> any issues with emergency calls? are you getting a lot of emergency calls or any -- or need for your help and services? >> surprisingly, the calls have been light today. we get a lot of stranded motorists. yesterday we had a lot of wires down, trees fallen. so far today, very few calls.
just a few an hour, which is really -- that's impressive. >> i guess as you said, it's been very quiet. you haven't really heard of any problems with anyone getting rowdy out there? >> now. we've had a few domestic calls, which is pretty normal. you know, people stay in the house. they get a little cabin fever and they start having disagreements here and there. but overall, it's been very calm, very quiet day. >> okay. i don't know if you guys have any other questions for him while we have him here, but sounds like everything is good. everyone is heeding the warning to stay off the roads as we've been reporting. it's been very quiet out here. >> all right. good information. the only question was where is his hat? >> let's look at the hill today. the capitol rotunda pretty much blending in with the background. this weather prompted lawmakers to cancel all votes on the house and the senate floor for the rest of this week.
the washington monument, desolate there, too. the camera spotted at least this person taking in some exercise. beautiful city. >> yes. >> even in a whiteout, it's so beautiful. let's go back to jane watrel. jane, you said earlier -- she's in alexandria. you said this did not feel like a wednesday. that hits it on the head there. it does not feel like wednesday because nobody has been out today. >> no. that's true, jim. it's been almost a virtual ghost town down here in old town alexandria. we're on the end near the masonic temple, near the king street metro stop, which is normally so busy. just chalk full of people. today you can take a look, just empty. i want to call your attention to one thing. take a look. we're seeing pavement for the very first time. about a half hour ago, alexandria must have decided to start plowing and salting and sanding its roads again because some giant snow plows have come
right down king street and they're really starting to clear away this now. as i said earlier in the last hour, it feels like things are clearing. we're really not getting any accumulation of snow, b we are getting a lot of blowing winds. let's look at the buildings. you can see the -- the wind gusts, shoveling the snow around, blowing the snow around. it's -- in more dramatic faction than that video appears. you really feel the full force of it. it's got to be coming at about 20 to 30 miles an hour at least. and, dan, look over here. dan buckley, my photographer. here's an enterprising soul. maybe this is a sign that the storm is over. we've got someone coming down king street on his bicycle. hell hello. be careful. and here comes right behind him -- well, let's just watch this here. let's see. it's a snow plow. from the city of alexandria snow plow, salting and sanding.
earlier today we caught up with a dump truck driver as they were hauling away snow. here's what he had to say about the historic snowfall. >> i've been doing this for 22 years. this is the roughest i've ever seen it. >> worst you've ever seen? >> yes, the worst i've ever seen, 22 years. >> how is it out there, getting around? >> it ain't too bad. the trucks, you take your time. the main thing is safety. watch out for the vehicles. take your time. it's icy out here. but you'll be okay. >> we keep telling people don't go out. >> they don't need to. if it ain't an emergency, stay home. let us do our job. it's more easy. if they get out here, they're in the way. it makes a harder. >> you're looking at a live shot of king street. you see that the cyclist did make it around the snow plow. so fortunately we don't have any injuries down here from riding your bicycle on the ice in the snow. i wouldn't recommend it, but,
well, take a look at this. a massive tree down on allison street in northwest d.c. look at that power line just kind of blowing in the wind there. we don't know whether it was the heavy snow or wind that brought this down, but this thing is huge. it's blocking traffic right there. >> so we're not completely out of the woods just yet. but the storm is starting to ease away from us bit by bit. let's look at the roads now. ashley linder is in the news4 traffic network. how is it looking out there now? >> hey, wendy. well, starting off with a big problem out of maryland. this is 95 at route 32. a little bit further south, we have a serious series of accidents. several tractor-trailers, we heard three and now we're hearing of more tractor-trailers possibly stuck on 95 headed
soutound. they've all jack-knifed right in the icc work zone. that's the stretch between 198 and 212. as you can see here, it is a mess on 95. they have plows going up the wrong way up the southbound trip. so going northbound in the southbound lanes in order to help the tractor-trailers that are stuck. 95 southbound is completely shut down. everybody has detoured off at 198. all lanes remain blocked. wendy, back to you. >> what a nightmare. thank you, ashley. let's get the latest word on the current conditions right now. veronica johnson has it covered for us in the srm center. what's the latest? >> we still have moderate snow. gaithersburg through the district, clinton, waldorf, areas off to the east. still moderate snow. that's going to hang on for a couple more hours. at least three, four more hours. the storm system starts moving away. the snow ends. but it's still going to be windy during the overnight period and still a windy and breezy day tomorrow. starting out early tomorrow, 24,
25 degrees. there will be sunshine across the area and on the ground, another 15 to 20 inches up through howard county and baltimore county. another 10 to 15 for us. meanwhile, it is sunshine that we'll have tomorrow instead of the real intense wind. winds that will be gusting tomorrow around 30 miles per hour. the high is 34. so we may have a little melting, not just tomorrow but a little melting for friday, foraturday and especially for sunday as we get into the upper 30s. doesn't look like a big event on monday. maybe some snow around two to four inches. >> all right. thanks. >> two to four inches. i'm sorry. >> compared to this, that's nothing. >> no! >> we'll be right back.
now we're awaiting a news conference by adrian fenty. we'll bring that to you when it happens. >> right now, tom sherwood is out on freedom plaza in d.c., in beautiful downtown washington. the visibility is improving out there, tom. >> yeah. we were going to show you the capitol back there is much better. still a little windy down here. even some tourists out and about, people taking pictures. i don't know if you can see them beyond the snow over there.
a lot of people walking about now that the weather has let up a little bit. the mayor is expected to announce that the d.c. public schools will be closed tomorrow. they just don't think the roads and the walkways are going to be clear enough for the students to get -- and the people who work in the schools and the teachers and the administrators to get into the schools. we don't know yet about d.c. government itself. but, again, the mayor is about to hold a news conference shortly with those details. it's getting much better out here. >> we can see it. thank you, tom. nothing was stopping this man from heading to the post office today in the middle of the blizzard. the skier decided to make a stop at the friendship heights post office in norwest washington. >> the office was closed but the gentleman did get a chance to mail out correspondence using the roadside mailboxes. he then made his way down wisconsin avenue in his skis which, believe me, that's the only way to make your way down wisconsin avenue today. it was tough walking out there
if you're outdoors, you can make it fun. that's what lindsay czarniak is doing today. >> she went out to the front yard. >> i did. guys, there are a lot - o what doe calem? snow minior behind us >> we are the lastf the mogans . i got a couple of e-mai because som -- my friend eeman told me that he knows you're a buffalo bills fan because there were tworo
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