D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray urges residents to stay off streets

WASHINGTON (AP) - Washington's mayor is urging people to stay off the roads as snow comes down.

By midmorning in Washington, the snow was still mixed with rain and roads were passable, with only occasional slushy spots. But Mayor Vincent Gray warned that conditions were expected to deteriorate quickly in the afternoon.

He says the best thing people in the city can do is stay off the streets.

At the District of Columbia's salt dome, trucks were being loaded with a salt-and-sand mixture. The district has more than 450 pieces of snow equipment deployed to treat the roads.

William Howland, the director of the Department of Public Works, said "Our biggest concern is overnight the temperature seem like they're going to dip below freezing."

At Frager's Hardware on Capitol Hill, they were ready with winter supplies ,and the public appreciated it. Although, they were a bit miffed with forecasters.

Despite the federal government's shutdown for the winter storm, the Smithsonian Institution museums are open for visitors on the National Mall.

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The Smithsonian says the National Zoo is closed on Wednesday, though, due to the weather.

Other museums in Washington were closed. The National Gallery of Art announced it is closed Wednesday, and all of its programs are cancelled due to the weather. The gallery is managed separately from the Smithsonian. The Newseum also announce it is closed Wednesday.

At the monuments and memorials, the National Park Service announced its services and ranger stations were closed for the day.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.