Overnight and early morning snow Thursday caused a number of automobile wrecks and a two-hour delay to the public school day for Fairfax County students and teachers.
County officials said the snow was a symptom of the coldest temperatures the county has experienced in several years.
More on the local weather forecast can be found at www.fairfaxcounty.gov/oem/weather.htm.
While snow is not expected Thursday night, the National Weather Service is calling for an 80 percent chance of snow Friday during the day and night. Temperatures will range between 21 and 28 degrees Friday.
County officials are warning residents to be aware of hypothermia if working outside.
“Hypothermia is a condition brought on when the body temperature drops below 95 degrees Fahrenheit,” reads a county notice. “Warning signs include uncontrollable shivering, memory loss, disorientation, incoherence, slurred speech, drowsiness and apparent exhaustion.”
County residents who see an unsheltered person at night needing a place to stay may call the non-emergency phone number 703-691-2131 to reach personnel who can determine which shelter is available.
Fairfax County’s emergency homeless shelters have additional capacity during winter months to take in people overnight who are at risk of hypothermia.
State and local police are advising commuters to be wary of icy road conditions after responding to numerous wrecks in the region.
One such wreck resulted in a Virginia police trooper being taken to an area hospital for injuries. The trooper was involved in a wreck after he stopped to investigate a three-vehicle crash that occurred on southbound I-95 near exit 150A in Prince William around 8:30 a.m. Thursday. Another car, a Nissan Frontier, struck both the trooper’s car and two of the three cars involved in the previous accident. The trooper was seated inside his vehicle at the time of the second crash.
The driver of the Nissan Frontier has been charged with reckless driving.
“Both the trooper and driver of the Nissan Frontier have gone to Potomac Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries,” said Corinne N. Geller, public relations director for the Virginia State Police.
Fairfax Water is offering tips to local residents on how to keep their household water flowing in reduced temperatures when pipe freezing and bursting can be a concern.
Tips include: eliminating drafts, especially in areas where water supply lines are located in unheated areas as both hot and cold water pipes in these areas could freeze if not properly insulated; if a pipe is frozen, do not try to thaw it with an open flame or torch; if you will be away from your home during the colder months, keep the thermostat at a reasonable temperature to keep pipes from freezing.
A full list of tips can be found at www.fairfaxwater.org/current/winter_tips.htm.
Residents who suspect their water meter is frozen may call Fairfax Water’s customer service line at 703-698-5800, TTY 711 during regular business hours and 703-698-5613 for off-hour emergencies.
Fairfax Water spokeswoman Jeanne Bailey said the county is not seeing any unusual incidents involving pipe or water lines bursting for this time of year.
“For water main breaks and things like that, we get an average of 300 a year…They happen all year long,” she said. “There are literally a thousand reasons why a pipe can burst, so it’s not as simple as weather.”