VDOT preps for winter storm: Residents should monitor forecasts and prepare

VDOTVDOT crews are preparing today for the winter storm that is forecast to affect the western half of Virginia beginning late Tuesday and lasting through Wednesday. Depending on location, the precipitation may fall as heavy snow, sleet, freezing rain or a combination.

VDOT urges residents to monitor local weather forecasts closely and make storm preparations today and Tuesday. Travel during the storm is likely to be hazardous and should be avoided. Those who must be on the road should reduce speed, increase following distance and use VDOT’s free 511 tools to find out about road conditions along the route.

Crews in VDOT’s Culpeper District are applying brine to primary highways today and preparing snow removal equipment for the storm. Brine operations will continue Tuesday on Interstate 64 and I-66. Drivers should be alert for the brine truck convoys and maintain a safe distance from the trucks. The salt solution evaporates after application but the salt residue aids in melting the snow once the storm begins.

Once the winter storm begins, snowplows will spread a mix of sand and salt to improve traction and help melt the precipitation as it falls. When the snow accumulates to about two inches, the plows will push the slushy mix off the roadways. VDOT crews will work around the clock to clear roads, beginning with interstates and primary highways, then shifting to secondary roads and neighborhoods once the main roads are passable. VDOT’s goal is to make all roads passable within 48 hours after precipitation ends.

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