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VDOT, Amtrak and airlines all brace for winter weather

VDOT, Amtrak and airlines all brace for winter weather (ABC7)

Tuesday evening was spent making preparations for a blast of winter weather that could impact much of the east coast.

The Virginia Department of Transportation said its crews in the Northern Virginia area were mobilizing for a wintry mix that could impact the Wednesday morning commute.

VDOT said trucks will stage along roadways and be ready to treat roads as needed.

Amtrak issued a service alert, announcing a modified schedule between Washington, D.C. and Boston on Wednesday. Amtrak also urged travelers to check their train's status early and often.

"There was a lot of buzz about it, talking to agents on the phone today. They said they were incredibly busy routing everybody back," said Amtrak passenger Lisa Madden.

Madden was supposed to be in New York for a few days but says her business trip got cut short due to another Nor'easter in the forecast.

"I was supposed to have dinner with folks all across the globe and meetings into today and tomorrow, but now our dinner got canceled," she said. "With the impending storm, they decided to cancel the dinner and send everybody home."

Meanwhile, at Reagan National Airport, officials said they were monitoring conditions closely, but did not expect the weather in this area to impact flights. Instead, it’s the snowfall expected in other cities that could cause problems.

"It can be terrible because it's a hub and spoke situation, and can cause delays all the way down the line," said passenger John Gilroy.

Gilroy came to Washington, D.C. on business. He said he was hoping to get home to New York on Tuesday night before the wintry weather arrived.

"Last week I actually got out early to avoid it. This week I didn't have an option, so we'll just go with it. I have an office here, so I'll stay overnight if I have to, but try not to," he said.

On Tuesday evening, a few flights that were scheduled to depart Reagan National Airport early Wednesday morning had already been canceled. Most of those were bound for New York or Boston.

Most airlines opted to waive change fees for people traveling to cities like New York, Boston, and Philadelphia on Wednesday and Thursday.

Amtrak also waived some change fees as a result of the weather and encouraged impacted customers to call the reservation center at 1-800-USA-RAIL.

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