VDOT ready to respond to Hurricane Florence

vdot road workVDOT is ready to deploy crews statewide ahead of effects from Hurricane Florence, as needed. Crews are closely monitoring the storm’s first wind gusts and rain bands as they approach the Commonwealth late Thursday and early Friday.

Final preparations remain ongoing; VDOT crews have loaded equipment, readied trucks, inspected and cleared drainage facilities and inspected roadsides for tree trimming needs and other roadside maintenance. As the storm progresses, over 350 specialized VDOT crew members can be mobilized and shifted across the state to assist with traffic signal repairs, debris removal, bridge inspections and repairs, as needed.

Motorists should continue to be alert to rapidly changing weather and traffic conditions. If you must travel during the storm:

  • Expect the unexpected. Be prepared to slow or stop quickly and without warning.
  • Keep headlights on while it’s raining: it’s the law.
  • Drive at a speed that enables you to stop quickly and safely within the distance illuminated by a vehicle’s headlights.
  • “Turn around, don’t drown!” Never drive through water flowing across a road. It takes only six to 12 inches of water to float a small vehicle.
  • Never drive around barricades. Remember, the road has been closed for your safety.
  • Slow down when driving through standing water. Driving too fast through water could cause loss of control due to hydroplaning.
  • Avoid flood-prone areas, especially along creeks and other low-lying areas.
  • 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.
  • If you come across a downed power line, do not try to move it. Contact your local authorities.
  • If you come across an inoperable traffic signal, treat the intersection as a four-way stop. State law requires that you stop and ensure the intersection is clear before proceeding.
  • Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded and watch out for debris. Floodwaters often erode roads and walkways.
  • In a life-threatening emergency, dial 911.

Updated travel information

Ferry service suspension

  • Fredericksburg District – Merry Point and Sunnybank ferry services have been suspended until further notice.
  • Hampton Roads District – Jamestown-Scotland Ferry to experience service reductions and suspensions due to high tides. The public can call 1-800-VA-Ferry/1-800-823-3779 for operational status.

Tolls suspension/HOV restrictions/95 Express Lanes

  • Hampton Roads District – Hampton Roads Express Lanes tolls have been suspended until further notice.
  • Hampton Roads District – All HOV restrictions have been lifted on interstates until further notice.
  • Hampton Roads District/Fredericksburg District – George Coleman Bridge tolls have been suspended until further notice.
  • Northern Virginia District – To facilitate smoother evacuation traffic flow, the 95 Express Lanes will operate on an altered schedule as noted below:
  • Thursday, Sept. 13: Reversal to the northbound direction starts at 8 p.m. and will be done by 10 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 14: Reversal to the southbound direction starts at 12 p.m. and will be done by 2 p.m.

Monitoring sustained winds on bridges

Crews continue to monitor levels of sustained winds and gusts at specific bridges and other water crossing locations. If necessary, VDOT will restrict or close travel on facilities due to wind conditions, high water, structural damage, downed trees or debris blocking the roadway.

Information resources

  • Get the latest road conditions and travel information – call 511, go to www.511virginia.org or download the mobile app at the 511 web site.
  • Report downed trees, hazardous road conditions online at my.vdot.virginia.govor call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623).
  • Prepare for the storm and find out about other VDOT hurricane preparedness efforts – visit www.VDOT.Virginia.gov.
  • Traffic information is also available on Twitter @511statewideVA. For general VDOT information, follow @VaDOT.
  • VDOT’s Facebook page will also be updated throughout the storm. https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaDOT.

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