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Winter Storm News Blog

The latest on how the winter storm is impacting the Valley

Staff Report
Submit weather-related news and cancellations:
freepress2@ntelos.net

The Latest News
– Tonight’s UVa.-UNCW game postponed (Saturday, 12:30 p.m.)
– Road information on 511Virginia.org (Saturday, 9:15 a.m.)
– JMU-Radford basketball game postponed (Friday, 10:10 p.m.)
– Coachmen concert scheduled for tonight postponed (Friday, 5:40 p.m.)
– Christmas in the River City event to go on as scheduled (Friday, 3 p.m.)
– Railroad Museum Open House set for Saturday called off (Friday, 3 p.m.)
– UVa. men’s basketball game still on (Friday, 3 p.m.)
Kaine declares state of emergency (Friday, 3 p.m.)

Tonight’s Virginia-UNC Wilmington game postponed
Schools will try to reschedule the game during the 2009-10 season

Tonight’s Virginia-UNC Wilmington men’s basketball game at John Paul Jones Arena has been postponed because of hazardous travel conditions caused by the heavy snowfall in the Charlottesville area. The schools will try to reschedule the game during the 2009-10 season.

“We are postponing the game in the interest of safety for the participants, staff and fans,” said Virginia Athletics Director Craig Littlepage. “With the hazardous travel conditions caused by the extremely heavy snowfall we are concerned about individuals getting to the arena for the game, including teams, game officials and the core staff we need to play a game.”




ACC protocol indicates games should be played if both teams and two of the three game officials have arrived at the site.

“We have been in touch with the Atlantic Coast Conference office and they understand the situation,” Littlepage said. “The UNC Wilmington team is in Charlottesville as are two game officials, but the conditions are such that we are concerned about people trying to travel to the arena.”

Travel has become a serious issue in the region as the snow continues to accumulate, temperatures drop and winds pick up. Local Charlottesville-Albemarle officials are advising people to stay off the roads. Emergency crews are working throughout the area to rescue stranded drivers and to move abandoned vehicles.

“The large number of drivers who have been stranded in their vehicles is a priority for emergency workers and the University does not want to hold an event that might draw people out on the road,” Littlepage added.

The University¹s Aquatic and Fitness Center has been opened as a Red Cross emergency center to accommodate stranded travelers who cannot reach their destinations.

Tickets for the game will be valid if the game is rescheduled.

  

Road information on 511Virginia.org
You can access very specific information on road conditions in text form for roads throughout Virginia on the 511 Web system.

The 511Virginia.org Web site provides road conditions by individual route number for primary roads and interstate roads as well as for some incorporated cities. You can access this chart which provides:
– route number
– location on that route
– current road conditions
– weather status
– exact time this information was entered into the system

Here is how to access this text information:
– Go to www.511Virginia.org
– In the left margin click on the orange Road Conditions link.
– In the middle of Weather Road Conditions Page: Scroll down to the blue text line entitled “Click here for a list of road conditions, including secondary roads”
– Click on this blue text line link
– Click on the drop-down box “Select a Locality”
– Select the first entry “Virginia (Entire State)
– Click on View
– Wait a moment while the chart populates to your screen
This chart lists all counties in Virginia in alphabetical order. From here you can scroll down to areas of interest and access specific information, route by route.

During winter weather there is also a direct link to this chart on the VDOT Web site home page at www.VirginiaDOT.org. Look for the yellow bar at the top of the page and click on “Winter Road Conditions”.

Road condition information is also available in a color coded map on 511Virginia.org.
– Go to www.511Virginia.org
– In the left margin click on the red Select a Region link
– Identify the city or zip code of interest or scroll down to the map and click on a region of interest.
– The map will appear.
– At the bottom left margin of the map is a color coded key. Hover over the color for the road condition definition.
– The map will appear.

  

JMU-Radford basketball game postponed
James Madison University’s men’s basketball game with Radford University scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. has been postponed because of the winter storm that has hit the Harrisonburg area.

The game will be played at the JMU Convocation Center at a future date to be mutally agreed upon by both teams.

  

Coachmen concert scheduled for tonight postponed
The Coachmen concert at Stage4 Theater in Verona sponsored by ShenanArts scheduled for tonight has been postponed to Sunday, Dec. 20, at 3 p.m.

A decision will be make for the Saturday concert by 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Check the ShenanArts website at www.shenanarts.org or call 540.248.1868.

   

 

Christmas in the River City event to go on as scheduled
The Christmas in the River City celebration in Downtown Waynesboro will go on as scheduled Friday evening, according to one of the event’s sponsors, Waynesboro Downtown Development Inc.

The event is scheduled to run from 5-8 p.m. – with more than 30 downtown businesses participating with special holiday sales, horsedrawn-carriage rides, a special Children’s Hour at the Waynesboro Heritage Museum at 6:15 p.m., and two performances of the “River City Radio Hour” at 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

More information: 540.942.6705 or www.waynesborodowntown.org.

The scheduled Saturday performance of Earl Hamner’s The Homecoming sponsored by the Wayne Theatre Alliance has been rescheduled to Saturday, Dec. 26. The production will go on at 2 p.m. at 329 W. Main St. in Downtown Waynesboro.

Seating is limited. Reserved seats for the Dec. 26 performance are available. Call the Alliance at 540.943.9999.

 
Augusta County Railroad Museum Open House set for Saturday called off
Jeff Cornelius at the Museum posted this to AugustaFreePress.com earlier today:

That much snow won’t stop a locomotive, but the folks from the Augusta County RR Museum in Waynesboro have to drive automobiles to get there, so we’re calling off our open house Saturday. If the roads are clear we’ll have the model trains running Sunday afternoon 1-4 and this Friday evening 5-8 for Christmas in the River City. Directions are at our website, http://www.trainweb.org/augustarailva. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood!

 

UVa. men’s basketball game still on
It is anticipated the men’s basketball game between UNC-Wilmington and the University of Virginia will be played as scheduled at John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday, according to the UVa. athletics department.

The game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

The possibility of inclement weather exists for the Charlottesville area on Saturday, but Atlantic Coast Conference protocol indicates games should be played if both teams and two of the three game officials have arrived at the site. The UNC Wilmington team is scheduled to arrive in Charlottesville Friday afternoon (Dec. 18) and game officials were contacted on Friday alerting them to the possibility of inclement weather so they could adjust their travel plans.

“We want our fans to know that we are planning to play Saturday’s game even in the event of inclement weather,” said Virginia athletics director Craig Littlepage. “We also want fans to be aware of the possibility of inclement weather and to check current weather conditions before traveling to the game.”

  

Kaine declares state of emergency
Gov. Tim Kaine declared a state of emergency today, authorizing state agencies to assist local governments responding to the winter storm that will affect the Commonwealth today and tomorrow.

“The snowfall amounts along with strong winds could cause serious problems, including power outages, throughout much of Virginia,” Governor Kaine said. “Virginians need to pay attention to their local weather forecasters, avoid travel, and prepare to be on their own for up to 72 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. In anticipation of this weather system:
– The Virginia Emergency Operations Center is being staffed with response team members from several state agencies, major utilities and other affiliated organizations and is coordinating the state response to the storm.
– The Virginia Department of Emergency Management has held weather conference calls with the National Weather Service, local governments and state agencies.
– The Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Transportation are ready to keep roadways clear.
– The Virginia Department of Forestry is on standby for debris cleanup.
– The Virginia National Guard is on standby to assist with emergency transport.

Virginians can check road conditions before they leave home by calling 511 or logging in to 511Virginia.org.

More information about winter weather preparedness is available at www.vaemergency.com . Detailed information about how Virginians can stay safe during an emergency is available at www.ReadyVirginia.gov and www.ListoVirginia.gov.

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