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Snow Blankets Herndon

By Mother Nature's standard's this weekend's back-to-back storms were just a taste of what the winter can bring in a moment's notice. According to the National Weather Service's Web site, Washington Dulles International Airport received a total of 7.8 inches from Dec. 4-6, more than 5 inches coming Friday alone.

Closer to home, the Herndon Department of Public Works brought in extra crews, but the police remained at normal staffing levels and Dominion Virginia Power reported no outages.

"As far as storms go, it was right there in the middle," said Robert Boxer, director of public works. "On a scale of one to 10, it was a four or five."

BOXER SAID the department was anticipating the storms and was prepared when the snow started falling. While he was still adding up the cost and gathering other statistical data on Tuesday afternoon, Boxer said approximately 30 employees worked per shift at any given time during the course of the storms.

"We began treating the roads Thursday night and gradually increased forces as the storm got worse," Boxer said. "I thought we were well prepared. Our public works crews responded and kept the roads open."

IT FELL to the police to keep the roads safe. Sgt. Jerry Keys said five immediate accidents at the beginning of the storm forced the department to limit its presence at accident scenes. The department put its accident policy in effect, meaning the police only worked accident scenes involving injuries. Otherwise the drivers were advised to contact their insurance companies.

"It wasn't really anything special," Keys said. "We didn't raise our alert level like we did for Isabel. We didn't get anything additional or bring in any additional people."

DOMINION VIRGINIA POWER put its crews on alert, but it turned out the company didn't need them.

"We didn't have any snow-related outages," said Le-ha Anderson, Dominion Virginia Power manager for media & community affairs. "Snow doesn't tend to be a problem for us. We did expect some trees to topple over with the weight of the snow or because the ground was saturated, but it didn't happen."