District of Columbia preps for freezing night

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - The coldest day of the season in the nation's capitol saw residents bundling up, seeking heat and finding a break from the extreme cold.

Last night's snowstorm not only left a few inches on the ground in many spots of Washington, it ushered in bitterly cold temperatures and even lower wind chills. That, coupled with the wind, left power out and trees down in some spots.

In Northeast, near Rhode Island and South Dakota avenues, a huge tree collapsed, buring one woman's car and knocking out power to much of the neighborhood.

One of the residents, Amia Fox, was busy clearing her car in an attempt to stay at a friend's house.

"I have to get out to a phone charge," Fox said. "It's cold in there. It's freezing. It's warmer out here."

Overall, Friday was a day of rock salt from Home Depot, many visits to salt domes for city plow trucks and important care for the homeless, who need a place to go to escape the frigid air.

One place that the needy sought refuge was the Gospel Mission's new downtown shelter, which has 170 beds ready for those seeking shelter on a night where nobody should be sleeping outside.

"We'll just allow them to come in until we're full," Gospel Mission Rev. Rutherford Cooke said.