Virginia State Police Urge Motorists to Stay Home After Working 313 Wrecks Before 11 a.m.

Increased snowfall across Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. has made driving difficult this week, with hundreds of accidents reported as of Monday morning.

The Virginia State Police took to social media Monday to warn people against driving the icy roads if they don't have to. Between midnight and 10:30 a.m., the police reported responding to 313 crashes, adding that they had so far aided 277 "disabled motorists."

"Troopers are now on scene of 137 more crashes & 119 stuck vehicles b/c of folks driving too fast for conditions," the tweet said, adding that Virginians should "only travel if necessary."

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for Washington, northern Virginia and central Maryland until 4 p.m. EST Monday. Forecasts predicted wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour.

The service also reported as much as 4 inches of snow in Virginia's Augusta County, the most amount of snow reported so far, though up to 10 inches have been forecasted for the area.

In Maryland, state police have also been responding to crashes. On Twitter, the police reported 41 crashes, 29 "disabled/unattended vehicles" and 161 calls for service between 3:30 and 9:30 a.m. Monday.

Both Maryland's and Virginia's state police warned residents against travel unless absolutely necessary.

White House, snow
Increased snowfall in Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. has made many roads in the area dangerous to drive, authorities reported. Above, snow falls at the White House early in the morning in Washington, Monday, January 3, as a winter storm blows into the Mid-Atlantic area. Andrew Harnik/AP Photo

"The timing of this isn't great," said National Weather Service meteorologist David Roth. "For the D.C. area, it's morning rush hour. At least for places to the northeast, it'll be closer to midday."

More than half the flights were delayed or canceled Monday morning at Ronald Reagan National Airport, Baltimore/Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, according to FlightAware.com's misery map. A quarter of the flights at New York's three major airports were delayed or canceled as well.

The snow also grounded President Joe Biden's helicopter, so he was motorcading to the White House from Andrews Air Force Base in suburban Maryland after a weekend in Delaware. With snow blanketing the streets in and around the nation's capital, the White House Press briefing was canceled, although Biden's other public events were still on.

The Weather Prediction Center said 2 inches (5 centimeters) of snow per hour could fall in some areas, and thundersnow was possible.

More than 500,000 customers were without power Monday morning as the winter storm warning extended from northern Alabama and southern Tennessee through Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina and West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland.

Snow began falling Sunday night in parts of Alabama, Kentucky and Tennessee. As much as 6 inches accumulated in north Alabama, where authorities reported multiple roads were blocked because of icy spots and wrecks, and businesses, schools and government offices delayed opening until mid-morning to allow time for temperatures to rise above freezing.

In Washington, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced that federal offices in the area would be closed on Monday. Emergency employees and telework employees were expected to keep working, the OPM said on its website.

Many COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites were closed in Virginia and in Maryland due to the weather.

Multiple school districts in the region said they would be closed, delayed or have virtual learning Monday. DC Public Schools said students and staff wouldn't be returning to school until Thursday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Snow shoveling
Increased snowfall across Virginia, Maryland and Washington D.C. has made driving difficult this week, with hundreds of accidents reported as of the morning of January 3, 2022. This stock image shows someone shoveling snow. okugawa/Getty Images