Jonas hits Virginia: Commonwealth responds

virginiaAs the entire Commonwealth of Virginia experiences the impacts of Winter Storm Jonas, state transportation and public safety officials are continuing their aggressive, round-the clock effort to keep Virginians safe.

“Virginia took early action to get ready for this storm and we will continue to devote every necessary resource to minimizing impacts on Virginia communities and their families,” said Governor Terry McAuliffe. “This is a serious storm that is already creating public safety hazards across the Commonwealth. We are responding at full strength, but I urge Virginians to help our crews by staying in their homes until the storm has passed and roads are clear.”

As part of the state of emergency issued by Governor McAuliffe on January 21st, the following state agencies are providing support. This declaration will remain in effect as long as state resources are needed to assist local governments and Virginians affected by winter weather conditions.

  • VDOT is fully operational. Interstates and major roads across the Commonwealth are in moderate to severe condition with pavement mostly covered in snow and ice. Crews are working to clear interstates and primary roads first. Thereafter, they will work on major secondary roads with vital emergency and public facilities and then other secondary roads and subdivision streets. Crews are currently focusing their efforts on roads that carry the most traffic. In Northern Virginia, crews work interstates, high-volume roads, and in subdivisions concurrently. The storm is beginning to hit Northern Virginia. About 4,000 trucks loaded with materials are ready to go in that region alone.
  • Virginia State Police (VSP) has all uniformed personnel and necessary specialty units ready to respond to increasing volumes of traffic crashes, disabled vehicles and other storm-related emergencies. Betweenmidnight and 1:30 p.m. Friday, the VSP responded to 117 traffic crashes across the Commonwealth. Most were in the Metro Richmond region and Hampton Roads.
  • The Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring up to 700 personnel on active duty, with personnel staged at readiness centers along the Interstate 81 corridor between Lexington and Winchester, along the Route 29 corridor from Warrenton to Danville, as well as in the areas near Richmond, Fredericksburg and Gate City.
  • The Virginia Department of Forestry has one chainsaw crew of four personnel in Page County providing specialized support with three regional chainsaw crews and three incident management teams on standby across the Commonwealth.
  • The Virginia Emergency Operations Center (VEOC) is at full activation with representatives from state and federal agencies, utility providers, and other response partners.

For more information on the Commonwealth’s response efforts, visit

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