First D.C. street cars delivered, some prepped for future snowstorms

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - By midday in the city, visibility was way down due to blowing snow. The District had to deploy about 200 trucks, and this time they were absolutely needed for significant snowfall.

"We are fully deployed, and we want the public to know that," said D.C. Mayor Gray.

In Southeast at 28th and Buena Vista, a driver lost control of a car on the icy, hilly streets. Fortunately, there were no injuries, but firefighters had to put down absorbent to prevent any more accidents.

In Northwest, we found people already clearing walks as the snow continued to fall, hoping to stay ahead of the curve; city officials reminded residents that they have 24 hours to shovel their walks.

"We're asking you to do that be a good neighbor and to be a great neighbor as well," said William Howland with the D.C. Department of Public Works.

At hardware stores like Frager’s on Capitol Hill, as soon as they stocked shovels and ice melt, customers were buying them. At the Safeway across the street, lines were long as the snow buyers stocked up for days.

In the midst of the snow, United Streetcars Company delivered the first U.S.-made street cars for the city’s soon-to-be opened system. Some were even equipped with built-in sanders that shoot sand onto the rails so they can move in the snow.

"And the driver has a sander pedal," added United Streetcars President Kevin Clarke.

That’s a test for future snowstorms – for this one, the city will direct efforts from its snow headquarters at the Reeves Center.