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Severe winter weather disrupts Biden's return to D.C.

The staircase Biden uses got stuck in the snow, temporarily preventing the president and his staff from getting off Air Force One.
Image: President Joe Biden arrives at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., in during a snow storm on Jan. 3, 2022.
President Joe Biden arrives at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., during a snowstorm Monday.Jonathan Ernst / Reuters

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden returned to the White House on Monday after his holiday break in Delaware in severe winter weather that sent airport crews scrambling to clear the runway for Air Force One and forced his motorcade to crawl through snow-covered streets.

Dozens of workers at the Delaware airport Biden was departing from and at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland, near Washington, rushed to clear the runways ahead of Biden’s return Monday morning. At one point, the staircase he uses to exit the plane got stuck in the snow, preventing him and his staff from getting off for about half an hour. Biden sheltered his face from the heavily falling snow once he was finally able to get off.

With weather preventing Biden from making the trip from the airport to the White House by helicopter, his motorcade had to make its way through road conditions so bad that several tractor-trailers in the Washington area jackknifed, stranding hundreds of people in their vehicles, NBC Washington reported.

Biden’s motorcade avoided its typical route and proceeded at around 20 mph for most of the drive, slowing to a crawl in some spots as it passed vehicles that had spun out and gotten stuck alongside the road, according to a media pool report. At one point during the hourlong drive, the motorcade stopped completely for six minutes, and the van carrying the media struggled to get through the slick roads at points, the report said.

The weather caused the White House to cancel the daily news briefing, which would have been the first since before the holidays. Federal offices in the Washington region were closed; only employees designated as emergency personnel were required to report for work.

Biden's schedule Monday included his daily briefing from his national security officials and a virtual event on the work the administration is doing to reduce meat prices.

Biden spent eight days over the holiday break between his homes in Rehoboth and Wilmington — his 31st trip to Delaware as president.