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Reston’s Big Snowman: Your Best Name Suggestions

World of Beer Snowman/Credit: Paul Ruiz

We told you on Sunday about a giant snowman that a resident of The Avant rolled into place shortly after the blizzard stopped.

We asked for reader opinions on what to name him. Most people answered on Reston Now’s Facebook page. Here are some of the top suggestions:

  • The Avantinable Snowman
  • WOB-bles (because the snowman was built for World of Beer — this is the favorite of “Big Mike,” the resident who built the guy)
  • Jabba the Snowhutt
  • Snotorius B.I.G.
  • Jonas
  • Robert E. Snowman
  • Snowmanzilla
  • Snowmangeddon
  • WoBlizzard
  • Flubber
  • Wide Load
  • Frosty
  • Stay Pufft (from Ghostbusters)
  • Cookie Monster
  • Oprah
  • Leonarsnow DiCaprio
  • Blobby
  • Buster Blizzard

Photo: World of Beer Snowman/Credit: Paul Ruiz via Facebook  

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Silver Line Service Still in Question for Wednesday

Metro SIlver Line Map/Credit: MetroMetro says that the Red, Orange, Blue, Green and Yellow lines will all open for regular service at 5 a.m. Wednesday.

The Silver Line? They still don’t know.

“It is not yet known whether service can be restored on the Silver Line in time for morning rush hour due to ongoing ice and snow clearing efforts,” Metro said in a statement Tuesday afternoon.

If the Silver Line is not running, free shuttle buses will be provided starting at 5 a.m. between all Silver Line stations and West Falls Church, where connections can be made to the Orange Line, says Metro.

Metrorail service will operate on a modified weekday service with trains running every 8 minutes on each line. Stations that are served by multiple lines will see more frequent service.

The system has slowly been getting back to regular service since shutting down late Friday night through Saturday and Sunday as the blizzard raged through the area.

Progress has been slow to recover at the above-ground stations, where ice and snow have accumulated on the tracks following the storm that dumped nearly three feet of snow here.

All five of Fairfax County’s Silver Line stations, including Wiehle-Reston East, are above ground.

For complete Metro info, visit Metro’s website.

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Reston Post Office Remains Snowbound

Reston Post Office Jan. 26, 2016

The old saying about the U.S. Post office is “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.”

It’s even inscribed on the general post office in New York City.

Not so much in Northern Virginia, though. One lingering casualty of the weekend blizzard: mail delivery and U.S. Post Office services in Reston.

The parking lot of the Reston branch of the post office, located at 11110 Sunset Hill Rd., remains unplowed as of Tuesday at 11 a.m.

The government building is supposed to be plowed by a private contractor who has not been there since the storm began Friday, a source said.

The post office remains closed until the lot is plowed. There will also be no mail delivery in Reston until that happens as the mail trucks are staged from that area, a post office employee said.

If you need to mail or buy something at a post office, the Herndon branch at 590 Grove St. is operating.

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Inova Needs Donations as Blizzard Impacted Local Blood Supply

Bloodmobile/Courtesy InovaThe weekend blizzard and lack of resident mobility the last several days has severely impacted the local blood supply, say officials at Inova Blood Services.

They are asking Northern Virginia residents, if they are able, to donate blood at one of Inova’s fixed site blood donor centers as soon as possible.

Donors may schedule an appointment, or find a donor center by visiting www.inova.org/donateblood  or calling 1-866-BLOODSAVES (866-256-6372).

The closest fixed donation site to Reston is on Nokes Boulevard near Dulles Town Center. See all area sites, get directions and make an appointment on Inova’s website.

Terri Craddock, Director of Inova Blood Services, says Inova shut down collection operations for 2 1/2 days. That’s the first time in 50 years such a thing has happened, she said.

“The inventory of blood at Inova has been severely impacted by Winter Storm Jonas as we were unable to collect these lifesaving products for our patients over the last 2 ½ days,” Craddock said in a release.

“During the height of the storm, we had heavy usage of blood products at some of our hospitals. With this increase in usage and decrease in collections, we need blood donors to answer our call. Without reaching our daily collections goal of 250 units a day, our shelves are running empty. This insufficient inventory leaves local hospitals vulnerable in response to emergency patients as well as provides challenges in meeting in or out-patient procedures requiring the use of blood and blood products.”

Also impacting the shortage: Inova’s mobile drives — which are responsible for more than 70 percent of collections — will be canceled this week as they usualally take place in office parking lots.

“Mobile Blood Drives are cancelling, participation at business blood drives are down because employees have the option to telework and quite honestly, with all the snow, we can’t park our bloodmobile in an area safe enough for the donors to give,” said Carolyn Bayless, Mobile Operations Manager.

All blood types are needed. To give blood, donors must be feeling generally well on the day of their donation, be at least 16 years old (with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and not have donated blood in the past eight weeks (56 days) for whole blood or 112 days for double red cells. Platelet donors should not take aspirin or aspirin-based products within 48 hours prior to donation.

Inova Bloodmobile/file photo

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Many Reston Streets Still Snowed In 48 Hours After Storm’s End

Autumnwood Drive in Reston Monday, Jan. 25/ Jackie Laurenzi via Twitter

The blizzard stopped more than 48 hours ago, but some Reston residents still can’t get started.

There is increasing frustration Tuesday among residents whose streets have not seen a single plow pass.

At least these residents were Tweeting to the responsible party — and in many cases VDOT answered. One frustrated resident was bringing the plight of her unplowed street to Newschannel8, Reston Association and Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, among others.

The frustration, and, in some cases, confusion is nothing new after a snowfall like the nearly three feet that fell here over the weekend. While many streets in Reston are plowed by private contractors, some are VDOT streets. VDOT has priority system, with the most-traveled roads getting highest priority. Residential subdivisions, especially cul-de-sacs, are the lower priority.

VDOT says its goal after a storm is to clear all roads within 48 hours. VDOT’s interactive sites VirginiaPlows and 511iVrginia can show you when plows are in your area. Here is how to know who is responsible for your street in Reston:

Reston Association is not responsible. RA’s territory is RA property, such as the parking lots of Walker Nature Education Center and the pools. The association also plows the 55 miles of bike paths in Reston. Fairfax County is also not responsible for plowing.

Most Reston neighborhoods are part of cluster or homeowners’ associations. If this is you, you likely pay quarterly or monthly dues in addition to your annual Reston Association assessment. This is the case with most apartment and condo complexes, townhouse neighborhood and a number of single-family home subdivisions.

Part of your cluster dues go for snow removal with a private contractor. If you are concerned that the street has not been plowed, contact your cluster president. You should receive regular communication from the cluster via e-mail or flyer. Not sure which cluster you belong to or who is on the board? Start with RA’s neighborhood list.

If you are not in a cluster, then your street is likely plowed by VDOT

Visit VDOTPlows.org to see a real-time map of when your street will see a plow.

Photo: Autumnwood Drive in Reston Monday/Credit: Jackie Laurenzi via Twitter

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Four Nearby Orange Line Stations Remain Closed on Tuesday

Metro SIlver Line Map/Credit: MetroMetro commuters who planned to hop on nearby Orange Line trains since the Silver Line remains closed Tuesday may need to find an alternate route.

Metro says it will be unable to restore train service at four Orange Line stations that had been expected to reopen this morning: Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church and East Falls Church.

The rail system announced Monday night that the all lines except the Silver Line would run Tuesday. Vienna and East and West Falls Church are Orange Line stations nearest to Reston that commuters used most often prior to the Silver Line’s opening at Wiehle-Reston East in 2014.

Said Metro: “The change in service plan is due to weather-related damage and icing issues with the electrified third rail that were discovered overnight as test trains were run on the line. Specifically, test trains were unable to move through the area reliably and maintain third-rail power to sustain service.”

Orange Line service is running between Ballston and New Carrollton every 12 minutes. Affected Orange Line customers in Virginia should use Ballston Station until further notice.”

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Reston Blizzard: The Movie

Reston’s coming back to life now, but during the 36-hour blizzard Friday and Saturday, it was an eerie, windy, snowy symphony.

Fox Mill resident David Wujcik set up a camera in a front window of his house to capture the whole thing on time lapse and set it to appropriately dramatic music.

Take a look.

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Neighbors Need Help Shoveling; Can You Lend a Hand?

Snowed in mailbox

Reston Now has been contacted by several elderly residents asking if we could connect them with someone strong who can help them shovel walk, steps and driveways.

Here is the plight of one senior who wrote to Reston Now:

Not a tip but a plea, if you will. I am a 70+ y/o senior citizen in Reston need help getting some help getting my car dug out. Don’t know any entrepreneurial young people so I called 211 where a pleasant person offered a farfax county senior services phone number that is not in service. She also mentioned I might contact a local church to see if they are organizing any volunteer efforts (I called 2.)

I called Herndon Senior Center also and of course all of these organizations were closed due to the storm. I also went online and contacted half- dozen or so services listed under local snow removal on “Angies List” and I still have not been contacted back.

None of this is surprising to be sure given the snow emergency and I am not at an  immediate risk. I am willing to pay.

If you can help (not sure which neighborhood) email [email protected] and we will put you in touch.

Surely there are some people — even some enterprising teens — who will be out with their shovels today.

If you need help or you are offering help, tell us in the comments below. Let us know which category you fall in, what neighborhood you live in and contact info. If you need to be paid or are willing to pay, we will let you work it out offline.

You can put responses here or in the comments on the comments section on Reston Now’s Facebook page.

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Snow Day or Work Day? Here’s What Monday Looks Like

Blizzard cleanup at Reston Town Center/Credit: Don Renner

On Sunday, the snow stopped, the sun came out and the cleanup began.

Monday will also be a work in progress as Reston and the entire Washington, D.C.. area tries to get back to business after the two-day blizzard. Reston received nearly 30 inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service.

Here is some news to know this morning.

Fairfax County Public Schools and Government are closed.

Reston Association is closed.

The Federal Government is closed with most employees teleworking.

Metro is running a very limited schedule with no Silver Line service as above-ground stations are closed. Trains will run every 20 to 25 minutes on these routes:

  • Orange Line: Ballston to Eastern Market only
  • Red Line: Medical Center to Union Station only
  • Green Line: Fort Totten to Anacostia only

Fairfax Connector bus service will be operating with limited service on a Sunday schedule with buses running from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be changes to some Reston routes, including:

  • 950 – Bypasses Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride, Alabama Dr, Florida St, Center St
  • RIBS 1/3 – Bypasses Beacontree Ln, Herndon-Reston Heath Center, Cameron Glen Dr, Hunters Woods Village Center/Fellowship House, Lake Anne Fellowship House, Tall Oaks Village Center

Reagan National and Dulles International Airports expect to reopen Monday on a limited schedule. Many delays and cancelations are still expected. Check with your airline.

Fairfax County Supervisor Sharon Bulova held a joint press conference with Gov. Terry McAuliffe Sunday. Both officials asked for patience as the state and county removed snow from roads.

They asked that drivers still remain off of roads.

“It is critical that VDOT crews are able to effectively clear the streets and public safety can respond to emergencies,” Bulova said. “Clean up will take several days!”

Added Bulova: “There are miles of sidewalks that need to be shoveled and we need your help. Please make sure all the sidewalks and walking paths in your neighborhood are shoveled. Help out your older or disabled neighbors who are not able to shovel. We also ask that you shovel out fire hydrants. By working together, we will get back to normal much faster.”

For real-time updates from Fairfax County emergency management, the Virginia Department of Transportation, Fairfax County Police and other public safety agencies, visit Fairfax County’s Snow Hub page.

Photo: Blizzard cleanup at Reston Town Center/Credit: Don Renner

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There’s a Giant Snowman at RTC – Let’s Give Him a Name

Reston's Big Snowman/Photo by Ed Schudel

There is a big, big snowman out in front of Reston Town Center’s World of Beer.

The snowman was built by a resident of The Avant apartments who is known around RTC as “Big Mike.”

We nominate this snowman to be the official mascot of the Blizzard of 2016. Let’s give snowguy a name.

Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

Credit: Reston’s Big Snowman/Credit: Ed Schudel

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Help Your Neighbors: Tell Us About Reston’s Roads

Plow on Ridge Heights Road, Sunday Jan. 24, 2016

As of about 11:30 a.m. Sunday, snowplows have worked on most of Reston’s main roads. The side streets and townhouse parking lots could be a work in progress though into Monday, Tuesday and beyond.

Help Reston Now readers know before they go: Tell us what your street looks like or, if you go out, what the Reston Town Center or your neighborhood village center looks like.

Post comments and or/picture below.

Drive safely, Reston.

Photo: Plow on Ridge Heights Road Sunday morning

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Snowstorm Stops — Now Reston’s Shoveling Begins

Snowed-in cars in Reston on Jan. 24, 2016/Credit: Annika Bohn

Happy Sunday! How did you weather the storm?

The serious snow stopped in Reston about 11 p.m. Saturday. That means about 35 hours of heavy snowfall for a total of about 28 inches in the Reston area, according to National Weather Service spotters.

Now comes the big dig-out, which could take awhile.

The Virginia’s Department of Transportation (VDOT) is urging all motorists to stay off the roads Sunday so streets can be adequately plowed.

VDOT says most interstates and primary routes in “minor to moderate condition,” many side roads are still completely covered in snow and ice.

“Even though the snow has stopped and dry weather is on the horizon, snow removal will be very extensive through the week,” VDOT said in a statement Sunday morning.

Want to know where VDOT’s plows are? Check the agency’s Virginia 511 site for real-time maps.

Who plows your street?

Here is how it works in Reston. The main roads — Reston Parkway, Sunrise Valley Drive, Sunset Hills Road and Wiehle Avenue, for instance — are plowed by VDOT.

Some residential streets — generally those not in a cluster or association — are also plowed by VDOT, but are low priority until the main roads are clear.

Most Reston homes are in a cluster or association. Your cluster or association dues cover snowplowing by a private contractor. If you are wondering about a plowing timetable, contact your cluster president or management association.

Reston Association is only responsible for plowing RA’s 55 miles of paths. RA’s path plows will be out in force today.

Neither RA nor VDOT is responsible for sidewalks. Sidewalks in a cluster are residents’ responsibility, so if you are shoveling, take a pass in the area in front of your home to help the neighborhood.

Sidewalks on a main street are a trickier issue — kind of a “no-man’s land” and have historically been a problem in Reston following big storms.

Metro will remain closed on Sunday. The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority says both Reagan National and Dulles International Airports will likely be closed all day as well. Check with your airline if you have travel plans as many airlines are already canceling Monday flights as well.

Heading out to shovel? Here are some reminders about shoveling safety from WTOP.

Want to go sledding? Modern Reston has some good spots for you.

Reston Now will keep you updated on street conditions, as well as cancelations and closings.

Photo: Snowed-in cars in Reston on Jan. 24, 2016/Credit: Annika Bohn

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Watch this Time Lapse of the Storm Rolling Into Reston

So you didn’t stay up last night and watch the storm come in? Here is what it looked like at Parc Reston near Reston Town Center.

Film professional Evan Luzi set up this time-release camera to show what 12 hours of a serious storm looks like.

Video by Evan Luzi via Twitter.

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New Forecast Calls for Close to Three Feet of Snow in Reston

As of noon Saturday, many Restonians were measuring snowfall at about 20 inches. But the storm is far from over.

The National Weather Service says to expect intervals of heavy snow to continue Saturday afternoon. The NWS also says drifting will continue to be a problem and warns residents not to attempt to travel.

Several snow plows were seen stuck in Reston Saturday morning.

The NWS has increased the snowfall amounts expected for the area. The Reston area should see closer three feet rather than two feet as the snow is expected to continue through at least Saturday night.

The Blizzard Warning remains in effect through Sunday at 6 a.m.

Graphic: Expected snow totals in DC area/Credit: NWS

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Photos: Snowy, Silent Reston Town Center

Reston woke up to 18 inches of snow Saturday morning, which made for an eerie, snow-covered Reston Town Center.

Reston resident Don Renner took some of these shots as RTC came back to life about 10 a.m. Grounds crews have been busy clearing streets and sidewalks.

Many stores and restaurants are closed, but a few — including Barcelona, bartaco and Tavern 64 — say they will be open today. Call ahead if you are thinking of skiing over.

Meanwhile, another foot of snow is expected to fall by Sunday morning.

Photos by Don Renner

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