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tv   ABC 7 News at Noon  ABC  January 6, 2015 12:00pm-12:31pm EST

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>> abc 7 storm watch winter weather alert. first snow of 2015 causing quite a mess out there today. crews have responded to countless throughout the region and some areas are dealing with several inches of snow this noon. >> this is a live look outside right now at the white house surrounded by white snow this noon. the good news is the snow is wrapping up now. fitting that it's called the
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white house. we have live team coverage starting with meteorologist doug hill and jacqui jeras both timing out the storm from the abc 7 stormwatch weather center. jacqui? >> we are looking at still some snow showers lingering out there. we have it coming down at a pretty good clip in parts of loudoun county. live super doppler 7 radar, clear conditions inside the district. as you head up 270 into northern montgomery county and a heavier band stretching through howard and over towards baltimore, this is where they could still pick up, maybe an additional 1/2 inch at the most but accumulating snow to the d.c. metro area is over and done with. but boy, do we have problems through the morning hours. it's all developed and started 4:00 or 5:00 this morning. we have heavy snow rates around an inch per hour and moved quickly off to theee. that's why we call it an alberta clipper. this is basically a six, seven hour event and unfortunately, it timed out with that morning commute just to create terrible conditions on those roadways.
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snowfall totals a variation around the region. we had one to three inches that we were forecasting. heavier bands set up to bring in higher numbers. dulles 4.2. gaithersburg has four inches and reagan national is 2.1. manassas at two inches and hagerstown coming in with about one inch of snowfall. so as the snow showers wind down now through the afternoon hours, we can get the sunshine peeking out there and temperatures getting maybe right around that freezing mark so there could be small areas that get a little bit of melting. temperatures will then be plummeting overnight tonight. that means we could have slick spots on the roadways as we head into tomorrow morning. let's head over to chief meteorologist doug hill now with more details on that little band that got real pesky for a lot of folks, doug? >> that was the story. we got the light snow and meteorologist steve rudin last night stood in this exact spot and said it's going to be horrible in the morning and it was. even more horrible because the bands formed up and started initially coming into the west
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along 66 and expanded from south to nailed several areas with temperatures well below freezing. and the rest is history. as jacqui gave you the numbers, the snow is about finished. few lingering snow showers. it's 21 in gaithersburg or 21 in martinsburg. temperatures won't warm up much and tonight, it will get much, much colder. keep the temperatures 26 and maybe 34 at reagan national. that will be the warm spot. flurry and generally the snow ends and maybe a peek of sunshine. as we head overnight temperatures by morning 14 to 24 degrees. anything that should melt and be slushy right now will solidly refreeze tonight. jacqui and i and the rest of the team will be back with you in a few minimumutes. >> thank you. continuing our storm watch coverage. v-dot crews have been out treating the slippery roadways and the cold weather means the snow is sticking. breanne is live in manassas with how the conditions are there.
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bree? >> v-dot added additional crews this morning after they saw what they were dealing with out on the roads. v-dot officials telling us it was going to be 500 throughout virginia but added an additional 100 trucks out on the road to take care of everything. take a live look out on the road now and you can see all of the pavement that we're seeing but conditions out there on the road after all that snow. i want to take you back to 9:00 this morning. video that we shot on 66 as well. it was bumper to bumper. you could see some heavy snow coming down and what a mess of a commute it was for a number of people out on the roads today. very slow going here westbound on 66 at that hour. very different conditions than what we're experiencing now. now, certainly, it is a treacherous drive for a number of people trying to get into the district or get to work this morning. we found one driver who said that he left his home very early this morning to try to get ahead
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of the snow. after four hours of sitting in traffic, he ended up with a car on the side of the road. he said the car just got out of control and ended up in a ditch. take a listen. >> out of nowhere. last thing i know, my car started drifting, drifting all the way in. i tried to steer it back. didn't come down. >> now, just within the last hour we did get an update from virginia state police. they tell us between 5:00 this morning and 10:45 this morning they responded just shy of 100 crashes here in the northern virginia area on those main roads. they're still advising drivers to be careful. v-dot drivers say they'll be out taking care of those roads and getting up-to-the-minute look at what the roads look like getting into the streets and neighborhoods to try to clear them out as quickly as possible as well.
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you can monitor where those salt trucks and plow trucks are by going to their website and we continue to get a live look here a much different scene than it was an hour ago. >> breanne, thank you so much. talking about those roadways in northern virginia. some dangerous road conditions this morning. many students still have to try to make it to school on time. and that has a lot of parents upset with some local school systems including one of the biggest, fairfax county. our diane cho is live there with reaction from the parents and students this noon. what are they telling you, diane? >> jummy, as you can imagine, parents we talked to this morning are simply not happy. a lot of people have been getting on line on social media sites like twitter here voicing their frustration today. in fact, the hashtag has become one of the top trending topics this morning after the school district decided to keep school open at the normal time. one mom had to come up with a last minute game plan today with her neighbor to try to get their
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students to two different schools today. she said she drove in from oakton to get to luther middle school in falls church which took her more than an hour. and by the time she got there, she learned some of the teachers weren't there yet because they were stuck in traffic themselves. the school district sent out a message to parents this morning apologizing for the difficulties the weather caused today saying that the decision was made with the best information they had and the conditions, obviously, were far worse than they expected. >> very, very frustrated. i'm going to call fairfax county transportation once i get home to complain. it's ridiculous that this happened. cars waiting in the car for an hour and one hour to get to school and the teacher can't make it to school themselves because of the road conditions. it's really frustrating. really bad. >> and according to that message that was sent out to parents earlier today, it says that kids will get out at their normal time today unless the conditions change and they will keep
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parents informed. it also says that parents can pick up their students today early if they wish to do so and they will accommodate those people. in fairfax county, diane cho, abc 7 news. >> all right, diane. thank you. that's fairfax county. in prince william county, schools also remained open and on schedule today. school official said in a statement "we cover a large area and at the time the decision was made, it seemed the conditions would allow for students to get to school safely." the statement went on to say "safety is the number one priority. at any time, parents can decide to delay or not have their child attend school and their child will not be penalized for that." to maryland now because parts of northern maryland saw some of the most snow today. eileen is live in frederick where people are busy trying to dig out this afternoon. eileen? >> yes, indeed. in frederick county, maryland, we've been here all morning long. the snow started shortly after 4:00 a.m. and it taper off to a few light flurries. i want to show you what
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conditions look like at this hour. you know, the roads are actually not all that bad. at least from our vantage point. we moved about five miles down the road and the roads are predominantly just wet. we're at the corner of town pike and crestwood road and again as i mentioned, the roads mainly wet. a little bit of slush especially on the side streets but what my concern is is temperatures are well below freezing. so some of the roads especially some of the side streets aren't driven on, they may get a little bit icy and a little bit slick. but it was the snow day today for teachers and students in frederick county, maryland. look at the snow, it's a very, very fluffy snow so maybe not the best for the snow men and also for the snowballs but as far as totals go, just over an inch and a half here in frederick county, maryland, and as i mentioned, the snow pretty much tapering off. jummy? >> eileen, thank you for that and our coverage of this winter storm alert continues through the hour. you can also get updates on your mobile phone with the abc 7 app.
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and on our website wjla.com. we have some power outage numbers for you this noon. this news just breaking. about 6200 customers are without power in downtown d.c. mayor muriel bowser tweeted the reid center has closed because it has no power right now and no word of what caused that power outage. there was some sort of electrical incident we are told near 18th street and new hampshire avenue northwest. getting to the sentencing of former virginia governor bob mcdonnell today. he refused to comment to the media as he walked into the courthouse this morning. he and his wife maureen were convicted of federal corruption charges last year. well, today, mcdonnell will learn what his punishment will be. suzanne kennedy joins us live from richmond with one decision the judge has already made. suzanne? >> this was an important one and it came within the first hour of the sentencing this morning. judge james spencer was considering the defense's motion on two issues. abduction of justice, whether
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the former governor did that during his trial and the value of things that they received, the loans and the gifts whether they were valued too high and how would that affect the sentencing? ultimately, judge james spencer ruled towards the defense saying that they ultimately lowered the sentencing guidelines between 6 1/2 and 8 1/2 years. earlier, the former governor arrived with his daughters and son at his side as it was during the trial this summer. he immediately was greeted by a crush of media. he told media no comment to make. this is before. but he would have something to say after the sten sentencing. his estranged wife arrived later, the two no longer live together and she is not being sentenced today and does not like the limelight in any way. she did show up a few minutes later. we want to take you inside the courthouse and show a little bit about the testimony we've heard today. we've heard from a number of character witness. first one that we heard from was somebody by the name of gary melton.
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he's known the former governor for 25 years. he was his commanding officer in the army reserve. and this is what he had to say about the 60-year-old republican. he said -- i found him to be by the book, compassionate and honorable. every step of the way sclament he never once wanted power, fame or fortune. he wanted to help people. the second person that we heard from today is a man by the name of joe horn, president of operation blessing which is a virginia beach based charity. he talked of how the governor contacted operation blessing saying he and his family wanted to help in the rebuilding after hurricane katrina. he said about the governor, he had a heart to serve and he would do anything they asked him to. mr. horn was also talking about the alternative sentencing options and how the governor could, in one scenario, go to haiti and serve out his sentence there. that's 6,000 hours of community service that the defense attorneys are asking for today. outside the courtroom today, the courthouse, i should say
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starting at around 7:00 this morning, people lined up to get into the courthouse. they were here at 7:00. something we did not see throughout the trial. a lot of people, friends, families, neighbors, people who didn't even know him want to go show up for the sentencing and here is what one of them had to say to us. i hope judge spencer will see in his heart to be lenient on governor mcdonnell. he has done so many things and healed so many people. >> where do things go this afternoon? we'll hear from several more people. in all likelihood, the former governor himself will testify. we should tell you about the character witnesses that are here today. we have a former nfl player, we have a former governor of virginia, that being doug wilder, family, friends, people who are going to take the stands on his behalf today. but we are expected to hear from bob mcdonnell at some point this
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afternoon and we'll receive a sentence from judge spencer. as for what happened after the sentencing, he is not expected to go to jail today. it is expected that his attorneys will file for an appeal and ask that he be allowed to remain out on an appeal bond. that is likely to happen as this case moves forward. reporting live from the richmond federal courthouse, suzanne kennedy, abc 77 news. >> suzanne, thank you. and abc 7's jeff goldberg will be in the courtroom as the judge reads his decision. you can look for immediate updates as soon as that decision comes down on wjla.com, facebook and our twitter pages. >> coming up on abc 7 news at noon, our live team coverage of this winter weather alert continues. we'll check in with johnny g who is monitoring the roadways in maryland and jacqui and doug are
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>> all right. welcome back. right now, a live look at 95 the beltway right there on the u.s. 1, college park area. you can see it's a slow go. we have cars out there. but still plenty of wet roads out there. definitely want to stay safe if you are headed out on this tuesday afternoon. in the meantime, in maryland, the snow may be finishing up but the effects are still being felt. >> our john gonzalez is taking a look at the wintry conditions in carroll county, maryland right now. john, how are things in your neck of the woods? >> well, good afternoon, ladies. i have to tell you some good news and bad news. good news is we finally see some pavement on the roads which hasn't been the case all morning long. all day long. but the bad news is a lot of snow fell. maybe not bad news for the kids who got a day off of school today. and the snow is still falling. more than eight hours after it started, take a look, this is route 27 here in carroll county. and again, pavement just really wet at this point. but the problem is it's getting
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really cold and has been cold all day long. at last check, about 20 degrees. and take a look at some of the areas here. pavements like at this gas station here. you still have a lot of snow packed on to the roads here. we'll talk to collins. they had a long commute. you came from baltimore trying to get mom and dad home from a cruise. what were the roads like? >> i went from germantown up to baltimore this morning and left the house at 8:00. it took me two hours to get up 27 which is ridiculous. there was nothing but slush. nothing was plowed. there was a mercedes that had spun out and blocked the entire road. it's always the luxury cars that should not be on the roads. >> mom, you were trying to get home from a cruise after a sunny cruise. not so good, though, getting home. >> well, we had 10 days of sun and came home to snow! and couldn't come and get us. it was very frustrating. >> long day but, of course, they had a lot of photos and memories to share from their vacation. it's a winter wonderland at least for the collins here in
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mount arie. >> talk about one extreme to the other. from a cruise to snow. but there are -- >> me on the cruise today. >> it was a crazy drive from southern part. if you have all wheel drive or front wheel drive, you're ok. if you have rear wheel drive, you're in a world of hurt. you spin out. hopefully, something came out a bit. and we get a little break here and make the evening rush a little more palatable. jackqui is standing by with great pictures you sent into us. advisories and warnings still in effect technically until 1:00. purple area, winter weather advisory. charles county was just dropped. clearly, the action right now. snowwise is north of the metro area. doppler radar shows a little band north of montgomery county between damascus and
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gaithersburg swinging to columbia and baltimore city right now. to the south, it's pretty much ended. a little more snowfall and flurry activity. we've seen some evidence that we have some breaks in the overcast coming our way. that's good news indeed. we're seeing the patches on radar of snow and snow showers as the clipper races off to the east and then kind of downsloping winds drying the air out a bit. that's going to mean the possibility of sunshine. this visible image, see this area of clear skies developing to the southwest. that's certainly going to hit the southern maryland area the next couple of hours and maybe the d.c. metro area will get a little bit of sunshine, too. temperatures, not going to do us any favors. we're clearly below freezing. look to the south. well south of the circulation. 40's and 50's. teens and even colder the farther north and west you go. that cold air mass is moving in tonight. check out some of the numbers. four inches in hillendale and southern montgomery county. 3 1/2 at the zoo. bethesda, three inches. leesburg, alexandria, 2.5. if you had to drive in it made
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some pretty pictures. jacqui jacqui, what do you think? >> it did. we want to thank our viewers for sending us in on so many on twitter and facebook and e-mailing them as well. it helps us tell the weather story, too, we know it's impactful to all of you and this morning when we woke up, our radar was showing it was well to our west. nothing was reaching the ground. so it took us a while to saturate the atmosphere. take a look at that picture. that's from kim brown, west springfield, virginia. i believe that's a little one all bundled up in a frozen hat, right? you have to love "frozen" and another viewer photo for you from tom and you can see his backyard is covered up. got a nice little one on top of the deck as well. and this last picture, so beautiful to me. kim strickland from purceval, virginia. that's a pretty picture, is it not? the snow is on the ground and acts as a refrigerator and helps
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keep things cold at the surface and boy, we are chilly right now and tonight, temperatures are going to drop even further. these are the temperatures that we're expecting to wake up to tomorrow morning. notice all the teens. 18 in frederick and 22 degrees in d.c. tomorrow afternoon, we're not going to warm up a lot. we're going to stay in the 20's with the wind chill factor. it's going to be howling. gusts around 30 miles per hour. that means it's going to feel like teens throughout the better of the day for tomorrow. and the worst of the cold is going to arrive for thursday morning and we could see wind chills subzero in spots. thursday afternoon, we'll be in the mid 20's and then we'll get a little closer to where we should be for this time of the year as we head towards the weekend and get those temperatures back into the 30's. so, you know, when we look at this whole thing as, you know, the snow event this morning, boy, it might be more painful really when we're talking about those cold temperatures the next couple of days. >> yeah. >> 12 in the city. >> northwest, it's going to be in the single digits.
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>> much lower. thanks, jacqui. >> all right, jacqui. thank you. the weather, of course, is the big story of the day. >> but not the only thing we are keeping an eye on. today is a big day on the hill. what is happening there right now that is making history?
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>> welcome back on this snowy tuesday, you are taking a live look at the dulles toll road. this is as it's approaching the beltway. good news this noon, you can see that the roads in this area at least are pretty much cleared. it is still sticking to the grass. so it's going to be a little bit of a better commute home. hopefully than it was getting into work this morning. happening right now, republicans are taking full control of congress for the first time in eight years. getting a live look at capitol
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hill right now. vice president joe biden is swearing in 13 new senators. all but one are republicans. g.o.p. now controls the senate and over in the house, they will have its biggest g.o.p. majority since the great depression. also will be 104 women in the house and senate. that is the most ever. >> developing now to our north. a man hunt under way in new york city for a gunman who shot two nypd officers. the officers were shot around 10:30 last night and they were responding to a robbery in the bronx. we know one was shot in the arm and the other in the back. authorities say their injuries do not appear life threatening and police are searching for one suspect who fled the scene. and funeral services are under way for former three time new york governor mario cuomo. hundreds of mourners including former president bill clinton are gathered at saint ignatius church in manhattan. he died hours after his son was
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inaugurated for a second term. mario cuomo was 82 years old. >> coming up next, we are getting back to our special coverage of all this winter weather and our winter weather alert. we'll get another look at the forecast from jackqui and check in with our team of reporters spread throughout the district, maryland and
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>> you are watching abc 7 news
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at noon, on your side. >> let's get you back outside taking a live look at fairfax boulevard near chain bridge road. we are giving you the full panoramic view of this intersection. roadways are still rep but for the most part, the plows and the salt of worked and they have been able to clear that area out. doug hill is in the weather center. we are hoping the worst is behind us. >> i think so in we don't have to have much of an improved rush-hour to improve over this morning. it still cloudy but there's some breaks in the overcast to the west as the final snow showers and little bands continue to make their way from west to east. in those areas the snow will continue but the pattern is showing an end as the clippers moving offshore. conditions will improve. it's 25 degrees right now. tonight, we

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