Snow on branches (Photo via Flickr/58067032@N06)

This is normally where we would tell you about events going on in the Capitol Hill area this weekend and warn you about Metro delays. However, the blizzard currently blowing into the area will shut down the Metro for the entire weekend and force most planned events to reschedule.

Mayor Muriel Bowser is urging residents to shelter at home for the duration of the storm. Here’s everything you need to know to weather the storm in the Capitol Hill area:

The Forecast

The Washington Post’s Capital Weather Gang is expecting snow to continue falling for about 36 hours with an average snowfall of an inch per hour. The storm is expected to be worst late this evening and into Saturday.

Pepco has warned District residents to expect some extended power outages in the area as heavy snow and high winds batter wires. Bowser also pleaded for patience after the storm as cleanup is expected to take several days.

Snow Emergency Plan

Bowser declared a snow emergency for the entire District this morning. Information on closures, emergencies and more is available at snow.dc.gov:

  • Metrobus service will stop completely at 5 p.m.
  • Metro Rail service will stop completely at 11 p.m.
  • The District Department of Transportation has been towing cars off of Snow Emergency Routes and urges drivers to stay off the road if possible

Warming Centers

The District government has designated public buildings in each Ward as warming areas, including the following buildings in the Capitol Hill area. Separate shelters are designated for people experiencing homelessness during the storm and those whose power might go out during the course of the storm:

Capitol Hill area warming shelters for those experiencing homelessness are:

  • Trinidad Recreation Center (1310 Childress St. NE)
  • King Greenleaf Recreation Center (201 N St. SW)
  • Sherwood Recreation Center (640 10th St. NE)

If you see someone who may be experiencing homelessness or need shelter, call the shelter hotline at 1-800-535-7252 or 311 to request transportation to a shelter.

If power goes out in the Capitol Hill area, the Rosedale Recreation Center at 500 19th St. NE will be open as a warming center for those lacking power.

If you see an animal in need of assistance, contact the Washington Humane Society at 202-576-6664.

Phone Numbers to Know

  • Pepco – 1-877-737-2662
  • DC Water – 202-787-2000 or report a water main break using this online form
  • Washington Gas – 703-750-1400 or 800-752-7520

Clearing Snow

Due to a new law signed by Bowser last year, the District is authorized to fine residents and businesses that don’t clear snow from sidewalks adjacent to their property within the first eight hours of daylight after snow stops falling. However, Bowser said on Thursday that the District will not be issuing tickets for unshoveled sidewalks during this storm. Still, city officials urge residents to shovel sidewalks in front of their property for neighbors’ safety.

What Do We Call This Storm

While it’s much more important to be prepared for the storm than to know what to call it, we do need something to call it. The official name of the storm is Winter Storm Jonas. However, that doesn’t have the ring of 2010’s Snowmageddon, and media outlets throughout the area have proposed their own names for the mega-storm:

Photo via Flickr/[email protected]

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Morning Rundown

Flowers near Frager's Hardware

D.C. on Storm Alert — A flash flood watch has been issued by the National Weather Service for the Capitol Hill area and the rest of the District from 2 p.m. through late tonight. The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center currently has D.C. under a “slight” risk for severe weather. [WJLA]

Taylor Swift Overcomes Malfunction at Nationals ParkPop star Taylor Swift was temporarily stranded above a stage at Nationals Park during a sold-out show when a piece of equipment malfunctioned. [WTOP]

Met Branch Trail Robbery — A 29-year-old woman was robbed of her iPhone and $50 Monday, as two muggers pushed the off her bicycle along the Metropolitan Branch Trail near NoMa. A bystander captured the mugging on camera. [FOX 5]

Water Bill Spike — Water bills in the District are set to become more expensive starting Oct. 1. DC Water announced the bill for a family of four people will increase by about $11 to $96 a month. [NBC Washington]

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(Updated at 4:25 p.m.) A powerful storm toppled at least eight trees in the Capitol Hill area early this morning, closing streets.

According to Twitter and Hill Now reader reports, trees fell down near:

The trees blocked at least a few of the streets this morning. Some of the trees hit cars, too.

The storm, which came through D.C. about 1 a.m., brought “almost non-stop lightning and thunder, strong to damaging winds and torrential rain,” according to the Capital Weather Gang.

Did the storm knock down trees on your block in the Capitol Hill area? Send a horizontal photo with a location to [email protected].

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Lightning strike near U.S. Capitol (Photo via Wikimedia/U.S. Air Force)The Capitol Hill area is under a severe thunderstorm watch as storms move in from Maryland and Virginia.

The National Weather Service issued the watch until 7 p.m. for the District and much of the D.C. metropolitan area.

Storms will strengthen over the next several hours and could bring damaging winds and hail, according to the National Weather Service.

The storms likely will hit the District between 3 and 7 p.m., the Capital Weather Gang reported.

Photo via Wikimedia/U.S. Air Force

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