Augusta Free Press

McAuliffe declares state of emergency ahead of impending winter storm

Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency at 2:20 p.m. today authorizing state agencies to assist local governments in responding to the significant winter storm that is expected to impact the Commonwealth over the next 24-48 hours.

In declaring a state of emergency, the governor authorizes state agencies to identify and position resources for quick response anywhere they are needed in Virginia. This action does not apply to individuals or private businesses.

Governor McAuliffe also authorized a limited exemption to hours of service for trucks hauling gasoline and heating oil throughout Virginia. These exceptions activate the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Section 390.23 Relief of Regulations, including hours of service, and are granted for the period beginning 5 p.m. December 29, 2017, until 5 p.m. January 13, 2018, or whenever the crisis has abated, whichever is sooner.

To read the content of these executive orders, visit

Governor McAuliffe urges Virginians to prepare for this major winter storm, which could dump up to a foot of snow in portions of eastern Virginia.

“The bitter cold that continues to plague the Commonwealth will be joined by a potentially significant winter storm which will blast Hampton Roads, the Northern Neck, Eastern Shore and other areas of Eastern Virginia with snowfall and blizzard-like conditions in some communities.” said Governor McAuliffe. “With this forecast in mind, all Virginians should take the necessary precautions now to ensure they are prepared for the travel disruptions, power outages and other threats to health and safety that could arise during this significant weather event.”

“VDOT has already taken measures to pre-treat roads and preposition equipment, crews and materials to treat roads in advance of the storm and will work throughout the storm to plow roads,”said Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne. “Driving conditions during the storm are expected to be hazardous and motorists are urged to stay off the roads until the storm passes.” 

“Localities in the path of this storm have already begun requesting assistance,” said Dr. Jeff Stern, Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) State Coordinator. “VDEM will continue coordinate with VDOT, State Police, the Virginia Department of Health, the Virginia National Guard, and localities throughout Virginia to ensure all necessary preparedness efforts are in place, and any local needs for assistance are addressed before, during and after the storm.”

State Agencies are Preparing for the Impacts of the Storm

What Citizens Should Do

For more information on the Commonwealth’s response efforts for winter weather or to find out how to keep your family safe, visit