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VDOT getting ready for next snow, ice storm in Central Virginia

snow travel
(© Chris Gloster – stock.adobe.com)

VDOT officials in Central Virginia are urging residents to complete preparations for winter weather as another major winter storm sweeps toward Virginia.

Crews are preparing equipment and other resources for the storm, which is forecast to begin impacting Virginia in the early morning hours Thursday.

The storm is forecast to begin as snow, changing to sleet and freezing rain later on Thursday. Travel – even essential travel – is likely to be difficult and dangerous during the storm.

All preparations for the storm should be completed today.

US 15 North and VA 47 North in Charlotte County and VA 92 North in Halifax County remain closed due to downed power lines from last weekend’s storm.

Approximately 50 secondary routes in the Lynchburg District are closed by either downed trees, power lines or flooding.

“VDOT and its contractors are working diligently and coordinating efforts with utility providers to reopen roads as quickly as possible,” said Gerry Harter, the assistant maintenance administrator in the VDOT Lynchburg District. “Once weather permits and roads are open, clean-up on VDOT right of way will begin and this effort is expected to be lengthy and multi-phased.”

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is advising residents to prepare for possible widespread and lengthy power outages due to ice felling trees and power lines.

Brine trucks are applying a mix of salt and water to interstate and primary highways across the district’s nine counties today. VDOT and contract snowplow operators and support staff will report for duty tonight and transition to 24-hour operations.

Once precipitation begins falling, snowplows will spread salt and sand; the salt will help melt any ice on the roads and sand increases traction. As snow accumulates to about two inches on roadways they will begin plowing.

Crews will continue working around the clock to keep roads safe for emergency responders and others who must be out on the roads during the storm.

Again, the message for the general public is: complete storm preparations today and plan to stay home during the storm.

Do not attempt to travel during this storm.

For those who must be on the road during the storm:

  • Clear your vehicle of all snow and ice including the roof
  • Drive for the conditions by reducing speed and increasing following distance
  • Brake gently. Remember, it takes longer to stop in snow and ice
  • Stay in control. Make smooth, precise movements with the steering wheel and anticipate lane changes, turns, and curves well in advance
  • Give plows room to work. Stay back from VDOT snowplows and other equipment
  • Use VDOT’s free 511 toolsto check road conditions along your route and at your destination

VDOT’s Customer Service Center is open 24 hours a day to answer questions and take reports of roadway hazards. Call 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or contact us online at my.vdot.virginia.gov.

Additional information about winter-weather preparations and response can be found at www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp.


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augusta free press news


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