Ready to roll for blizzard duty. Apparatus floor at Arlington County Station 106 in Falls Church, including National Guard wrecker at center and the volunteer's venerable Light & Air 103 in the foreground. Also in photo - Truck 106, volunteer ambulance and rescue company.
The Washington area was pounded by back-to-back winter storms between Feb. 5 and Feb. 11, 2010, forcing the closure of the federal government, airports, schools and businesses. Commercial power and mass transit were also disrupted.
The snowfall set a seasonal record of 54.9 inches of snow at National Airport in Arlington, according to the National Weather Service. Forecasters compared the snow to the Knickerbocker Storm of 1922, which caused the collapse of a Washington movie house called Crandall's Knickerbocker Theater. That catastrophe killed 98 people and injured 133 others.
During the Blizzard of 2010, the emergency services operated in hazardous conditions, and the National Guard loaned a heavy-duty wrecker to the Arlington County Fire Department. The giant vehicle was assigned to Fire Station 106 in Falls Church.
On Feb. 8, the snowfall caused the collapse of the roof over the apparatus bay of Fire Station 410 in Bailey's Crossroads in Fairfax County. There were no injuries. The structure gave way at 3 a.m. while the platoon was in the bunk room.
According to the Fairfax County Fire Department: "Firefighters were alerted by a loud screeching noise in the apparatus bay. A fire engine, ladder truck, three EMS units, and a utility truck were all extensively damaged. Several personally owned vehicles parked next to the station were totaled."
The Bailey's Crossroads firehouse, which provides service to parts of Arlington County, was built in 1974 and the roof was replaced in 1998.
Fire stations in Annandale and Alexandria also sustained roof damage, according to news reports.
- BLIZZARD ALERT! Keep neighborhood fire hydrants clear of snow and ice - and easily visible to firefighters in the event of a fire. Adopt a fire plug!