Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Even with missed storm, cleanup is pricey

Read it at the Washington Post's local breaking news blog, Post Now.

After criticism over slow response times to snowmageddon last winter, local jurisdictions and state transportation agencies weren't going to be caught unaware this time.

A number of weather services predicted the first major snowstorm of the year over Christmas weekend. Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) and Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) both issued preemptive state of emergency declarations.

And then the storm never came. D.C. was left with only a dusting of snow. A Capital Weather Gang map shows how close we were to getting pummeled.

Preparation for the no-show snow didn't come cheap.

The Virginia Department of Transportation spent "well over a million dollars" in Northern Virginia over the weekend, spokeswoman Joan Morris told TBD. The department had about 1,700 trucks on the road.

But with $33 million to spend on snow removal in Northern Virginia this year, according to the Washington Examiner, the Virginia Department of Transportation should be just fine. Both Maryland and Virginia increased their snow removal budgets this year.

Karyn LeBlanc, a spokeswoman for the District Department of Transportation says the department estimated it spent more than $500,000 over the weekend, according to TBD.

Montgomery County had 400 people and 375 trucks ready to go at 2 a.m. Sunday, though they went home 14 hours later. Arlington County had about 150 employees out over a 24-hour period.

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