RELEASE:

CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Lou.Hatter@vdot.virginia.gov
540-717-2890
CULP 2009-024

March 1, 2009



ROADS REPORTED IN GOOD CONDITION AFTER OVERNIGHT STORM
Motorists Urged to Use Caution and Expect to Encounter Patches of Snow and Ice

CULPEPER — Roads are reported mostly wet but with patches of snow and ice after an overnight storm left Central Virginia dusted with snow. Motorists who must drive this morning, particularly in the hours just after dawn, should be aware that they may encounter patches of ice and snow that will make driving hazardous.

Crews from the Virginia Department of Transportation have been working overnight to ensure that the roads are in good condition after the storm. Some minor accumulations of snow are reported on secondary roads in Albemarle County, Orange County, Culpeper County and Fauquier County. Most of the region received about one inch of snow and sleet from the storm.

Freezing conditions are most likely to occur in the western parts of Central Virginia near the Blue Ridge Mountains. Motorists should also be particularly cautious on bridges and overpasses, entrance and exit ramps and crossovers as well as roads at higher elevations.

Another winter storm is forecast to affect Central Virginia beginning Sunday afternoon and continuing into Monday morning. This storm could produce significant snow accumulations and may be accompanied by high winds and drifting snow. Motorists are advised to keep aware of local weather forecasts as well as road conditions throughout the day Sunday. If a significant winter storm develops motorists should avoid all non-essential travel until the weather improves.
 
VDOT offers the following tips for driving in winter weather:
• Before you begin your trip, know the current road conditions and weather forecasts. Call 511 or visit www.511Virginia.org.
• Make sure your windows, mirrors and lights are clear of ice and snow.
• Always wear your seat belt.
• Allow extra time to travel to your destination.
• Be aware of potentially icy areas such as bridges, overpasses and shady spots. Also, if there is heavy snow, ice or high winds, be alert to potential driving hazards including downed branches, trees and electric lines.
• Reduce speed as appropriate and keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and snowplows.
• Do not pass a snowplow unless it is absolutely necessary. Remember, the plow is clearing a path for you.
• Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car. The kit should include a small bag of rock salt, sand or cat litter to provide traction in case you get stuck, a snowbrush and ice scraper, a flashlight, battery booster cables, a blanket and extra clothing.
• Practice common sense. Remember that your car cannot start, stop, or turn as quickly and surely on snow or ice as it does on dry pavement, so think and drive accordingly.

Information about preparing for winter weather and other emergencies can be found at www.ReadyVirginia.gov. The National Weather Service, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia Department of Social Services and other state agencies have created the Ready Virginia resource to provide residents with a one-stop shop for emergency preparedness tips and information.

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