A worker with the National Park Service sweeps snow along Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 21, 2016, after an overnight dusting of snow hit the Washington area. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
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A light dusting of snow that stuck drivers in icy gridlock for hours in and around Washington served as an ominous prelude to the massive blizzard bearing down Thursday on the eastern United States.For people already scrambling to prepare for up to 2 feet (0.6 meters) of heavy wet snow, the trouble caused by a mere dusting provided more reason to worry about what the National Weather Service is calling a "potentially crippling winter storm" expected to blanket the Mid-Atlantic region starting Friday afternoon and continuing through Sunday.Bowser announced that the city's schools would pre-emptively close on Friday, and that city offices would close at noon, hours ahead of the storm.
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