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Schools and government offices were closed in Fairfax County and surrounding jurisdictions Wednesday in anticipation of significant snowfall throughout the day.

Although accumulation was light from the first band of snow overnight, forecasters are still anticipating about 8 to 10 inches in much of the county with the western edge of Fairfax County receiving a foot or more of snow.

The heavy, wet snow combined with high winds is expected to bring down trees and power lines, so the county is urging residents to prepare for power outages.

All Fairfax County public schools and offices are closed today, along with after-school activities, field trips, adult education classes and School Age Child Care.

The decision to close schools for Wednesday was announced at 4:30 a.m. Decisions are based on road safety conditions. Students and staff arrive at schools in five ways. Some come on school buses or walk to school or use public buses. Others are driven by parents or drive themselves to schools. All five methods of transportation are considered when deciding to call a snow day, according to the school system. Specifically, FCPS officials look at road conditions for teens who could be driving to school before it is light and roads could still be icy.

Fairfax County Public Schools has built into its academic calendar three weather-related cancellation days that would not need to be made up by students. Two of these days were used during Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29 and 30. Today’s snow day represents the third and last of the weather cancellations that does not need to be made up. Should school also be canceled on Thursday, students may need to attend school on April 15.

Fairfax County government offices remain open, but employees were granted unscheduled leave.

The county emergency operations center has been activated, and county residents can stay up to date via the county’s emergency blog and social media accounts, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Federal government workers are enjoying a day off, as the government made the decision to close based on the forecast.