VDOT crews prep for weather: Ask public to do the same

storm-clouds-headerCentral Virginians are urged to prepare for as much as five inches of rain on Friday and Saturday, and the potential for more severe weather from Hurricane Joaquin beginning Sunday evening.

The Virginia Department of Transportation’s primary role during any weather event is to keep roadways as safe as possible for travel. Crews are closely monitoring the forecast and will respond as needed to close roads and bridges for high water, structural damage or downed trees and debris. VDOT’s Safety Service Patrol and other crews will assist with traffic control in the event of crashes and other incidents.

Already saturated soil and swollen rivers and streams increase the likelihood of flooding and flash flooding over the weekend. Route 681 (John Barton Payne Road) and Route 713 (Rectortown Road) in Fauquier County currently remain closed after Tuesday’s heavy rainfall.

Road conditions and other real-time travel information are available at 511Virginia.org, on the free VDOT 511 mobile app or by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia. Local updates are also posted toTwitter.com/VaDOTCulp.

 

For homeowners

Clear away fallen leaves, grass clippings and other debris to avoid clogged and overflowing driveway pipes, storm drains and ditches. This helps prevent flood damage to your yard and home, as well as minimizes pavement damage and safety hazards caused by ponding water on roadways.

 

Read more about roadway drainage on VDOT’s website at www.virginiadot.org/info/drainage_on_virginia’s_roads.asp.

 

For motorists

The traveling public is urged to stay off the roads during severe weather. If you must drive, observe the following precautions:

  • Expect the unexpected. Be prepared to slow or stop quickly and without warning.
  • Never drive around barricades. Remember, the road has been closed for your safety.
  • Never drive through water flowing across a road. It takes only six to 12 inches of water to float a small vehicle.
  • Slow down when driving through standing water. Driving too fast through water could cause loss of control due to hydroplaning.
  • Be alert for tree limbs and other debris in the roadway. Even small branches and other debris can damage a car or cause the driver to lose control.
  • Assume all fallen power lines are electrified and dangerous. Never attempt to drive across, step over or move fallen utility lines.
  • Should you approach a traffic signal without power, treat the intersection as a four-way stop.

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