Historic snowstorm hits Washington D.C.

Washington's McPherson Square the first night of the snowstorm
Washington's McPherson Square the first night of the snowstorm Sananda Sahoo / McClatchy

Update: Occasionally the sun has been spotted, but fine snow is still falling in the D.C. area. The snow is heavy and wet and currently there have been reports of four roof collapses, including one at Dulles airport. Currently all the airports are closed.

A major problem is downed trees. Various streets have been blocked by fallen limbs. The temperature is falling which means what has been dug out will soon be ice.

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What is likely to be a snowstorm for weather record books hit Washington D.C., burying cars, breaking trees and causing power outages across the region.

An estimated 22" inches of snow has fallen in the Washington area where it continues to swirl after the city. Some stores are open providing food for those who can reach them. Some gasoline stations are closed having sold out of gasoline.

The authorities have asked people to stay in their homes. Snow plow operators second this saying they have seen people walking in the snowy streets.

The Washington Metro suspended above ground service at 11 p.m. on Friday. Below ground stations are being serviced. Many people went to the Georgetown-Villanova basketball game.

The D.C. Fire Chief has asked that fire hydrants be dug out if possible. "But only if you're able. We don't want to have to respond to another heart attack."

Even four-wheel drive SUVs were getting stuck in the snow.