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Winter weather is here for the Manassas, Va. area and the City of Manassas Utilities and Public Works Department is well armed with salt, sand and trucks. The City of Manassas Utilities and Public Works Department annually budgets approximately $225,000 for snow treatment and removal, and is prepared with 21 snow-removal trucks, 20 contract equipment, 1500 tons of road salt and 500 tons of sand. For details, go to www.manassascity.org or call 703-257-8219.

“We all remember the long winter last year, so we’ve prepared to clear and pre-treat our roads to allow for safer and easier access to roads,” said Mike Moon, director of public works and utilities for the City of Manassas.

800 crews treating Va. roads for icy conditions

NORTHERN VIRGINIA (WUSA9) -- The Virginia Department of Transportation has been treating the roads with salt-brine mix and other chemicals.

They have 800 crews in Northern Virginia clearing highways, secondary roads and residential streets. They're also putting down salt and sand on the roads.

Conditions worsened throughout the afternoon. Catherine Nickle lost control and crashed into a tree.

"I guess there was ice underneath me and I totally spun out so I tried to turn away so I wouldn't hit the tree," Nickle said. "Kind of shaking, I'm only 17 [years old], yeah scary."

While Nickle tried avoiding the tree in the median on Fairfax County Parkway in Sterling, she crashed right into it.

On neighborhood roads, we found kids playing in the snow and residents sweeping snow off their cars.

Juan Ramirez says he's concerned about the roads.

"Yeah I hope they're clean, I hope they're clean," Ramirez said.

VDOT prepares for possible severe weather in area

FAIRFAX, Va. (WUSA9) -- The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are pre-treating the roads in Virginia in light of tomorrows possible weather conditions. 

VDOT has said that by 8:00 a.m. on Sunday morning, 'almost 800 trucks will be staged in Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William counties to handle ice on roads and bridges from freezing rain and low pavement temperatures'.

Officials also recommend the following tips in the event that you are driving when/if severe weather occurs: 
Check current weather, road conditions and traffic before traveling
Slow down and allow for extra time to reach your destination
Be aware of potentially icy areas such as shady spots and bridges

Power Companies Gearing Up for Thursday Storms

WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA9) -- Myra Oppel was sitting in her office at Pepco's Headquarters when the Derecho of 2012 hit. 

She watched as the power company's outages jumped from a few thousand to almost half a million. By the time it was all over, more than two-million people in Virginia, Maryland, and the District were in the dark, and it would take nearly two weeks before all the power was restored.

Almost a year later, Oppel met with WUSA9 to discuss what Pepco's doing to prepare for this latest round of storms. 

Best & Worst Foods for Seasonal Allergies

WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- This spring, tree pollen counts are among the highest they've been in the last eleven of fifteen years.  And the DC Metro area is already considered an allergy 'hot-zone.'

"It is terrible, it has been debilitating for me," says Sharon Lyons Watts, a former WUSA9 news producer.  Watts is now a stay-at- home mom with three young kids in Bethesda.  She says her family has been hit especially hard by allergy symptoms this year, especially itchy, red eyes.

Watts stocked up on over-the-counter allergy medications and eye drops.  They help block histamine, an inflammatory chemical the body releases in response to allergens.  Experts say a diet of anti-inflammatory foods can also be beneficial to help control histamine response.  But only if you eat these foods on a regular basis, not just once in a while.

City Of Manassas Gears Up for Cold Weather With Tree Trimming; Shares Energy-saving Tips

City Of Manassas Gears Up for Cold Weather With Tree Trimming; Shares Energy-saving Tips

The City of Manassas Department of Public Works and Utilities serves more than 15,000 customers and with the cold season coming, it’s just as important for Manassas to prepare for the cooler temperatures as it is for the home owner. Manassas City’s ongoing tree-trimming program helps to prevent most electric interruptions during storms, which costs $60,000 annually. With cooler nights already forcing many to turn their heat on, City of Manassas suggests these eight tips in helping to conserve this year’s heating bill. For more information and tips, go to www.manassascity.org.

 “Preparing your home before the winter months is essential in helping to conserve energy and save on heating bills,” said Mike Moon, City of Manassas, director of utilities and public works.

Here are some steps to help save on heating bills:

Avoiding the Derecho's Autumn Harvest

On June 29th, like so many in the path of the Derecho, my power went out around 10PM. For roughly two days. Almost immediately I felt an itchiness arising from my carpet. By Sunday, since my apartment faces West and catches the afternoon Sun, I sought shelter in a hotel, as the temperature in my unit was fast approaching 90 degrees. I'm originally from upstate New York. Growing up, Summer was six weeks. I don't do heat, let alone this!

When I swung by my abode Monday morning, I had power, so I checked out of my temporary digs. The A/C was on; the apartment was cooling; but the scratchiness remained.