Updated: VDOT ready for snow, ice forecast for Wednesday
Rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain beginning during the early hours of Wednesday could create dangerous driving conditions into Thursday, and motorists are urged to avoid travel, if possible.
Heavy snow is predicted through most of the daylight hours in the Shenandoah Valley with snow and icing conditions in the southern portion of the region. Motorists should expecte varying driving and visibility conditions throughout the day and into the evening.
Snow plows and snow removal equipment will be staged throughout the Shenandoah Valley. Weather will be monitored throughout the night. Trucks will immediately begin plowing and treating roads as the winter weather arrives.
The VDOT Staunton District has 500 employees and another 1,300 hired equipment personnel for snow removal operations.
For this storm the VDOT Staunton District has 199 pieces of snow removal equipment and 670 pieces of hired equipment.
For winter events, VDOT first plows interstates, primary roads and major secondary roads with vital emergency and public facilities, or those with high traffic volumes. Secondary and subdivision streets will be treated in the event of a multi-day storm, but crews will focus efforts on roads that are traveled most.
Road conditions and traffic cameras can be found on the VDOT 511 website at 511Virginia.org, Roads with snow conditions will be marked minor, moderate, severe or closed.
Road condition definitions:
- Closed – Road is closed to all traffic.
- Severe – drifting or partially blocked road.
- Moderate – snow or ice on major portions of the roadway.
- Minor – bare pavement except for isolated spots of snow, ice or slush. Driving with caution is recommended.
Winter weather driving tips
- Give crews time to treat roads.
- If you must travel during adverse weather conditions:
- Allow plenty of time to reach your destination
- Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you
- Brake very lightly to keep your tires from slipping on pavement
- Do not pass snow plows
- The VDOT Customer Service Center can be accessed through its mobile friendly website at my.vdot.virginia.gov. Agents are on site 24/7 every day of the year to assist the public. People can also call the VDOT Customer Service Center at 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623).
- VDOT recently partnered with Waze to add a new feature to the navigation software app that allows users to report, in real-time during winter weather, when a road has not been plowed. It will also inform travelers when they are approaching a road that has been identified by other drivers as unplowed.
- Traffic information is also available on Twitter @511statewideVA; for general VDOT information, follow @VaDOT.
- On the go? Then visit VDOT’s Free Virginia 511 Tools to get your 511 app for android or iOS. Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511.
- The Staunton District Snow Page is on the VDOT website under Travel Center Snow Emergency Pages. This page is active only during on-going winter weather. The Staunton District Twitter feed is at @VaDOTStaunton.
- VDOT statewide Twitter messages can be found at @VaDOT. The nine districts can be found at:Hampton Roads @VaDOTHR; Richmond @VaDOTRVA; Northern Virginia @VaDOTNOVA; Fredericksburg @VaDOTFred; Culpeper @VaDOTCulp; Lynchburg @VaDOTLynchburg; Bristol @VaDOTBristol; Salem @VaDOTSalem; Staunton @VaDOTStaunton.
- VDOT can be followed on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. RSS feeds are also available for statewide information. The VDOT Web page is located at www.VirginiaDOT.org.