Virginia, Metro area bracing for winter weather

Ice scrapers, brushes and shovels are being prominently displayed and sold as the snow approaches. Photo: ABC7

With snow expected to hit the greater Washington region during the mid-to-late afternoon Thursday, especially south of the Capital Beltway in Virginia, hardware and grocery stores are getting ready for desperate customers looking for the usual essentials to combat the bad weather.

The storm's timing could turn a normally congested commute into a nasty trip home.

"With the snow and people not knowing how to drive it's probably going to be a mess," Stafford resident Holly Williams said.

VDOT officials say they are closely monitoring the forecast and have several hundred trucks on standby Thursday morning-the focus being on preventing what happened during the storm of 2011, when a sudden snowfall left people stranded in their cars for hours.

"I would rather have precaution so people don't have to sit in that and deal with that," Bristow resident Shannon Johnson said.

Another usual concern that's exacerbated by wet roads and uncertain conditions will be the Thursday evening commute, which could get messy and heavy if snow hits at the right time.

"I think people are not used to it and there is so much traffic," Arlington resident Ray Day said, adding that he'll likely leave for home early this afternoon.

Meanwhile, at the Shoppers Food Warehouse in Woodbridge, staples like milk and bread have typically been the first things to go.

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