Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Jan. 25, 2010
69 SECONDARY ROADS NOW CLOSED IN CENTRAL VA.
Motorists urged to use caution while driving overnight since flooded areas remain hazardous
CULPEPER — Dozens of secondary roads remain closed across Central Virginia. Sections of 69 secondary roads are closed in Albemarle, Culpeper, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties. All primary and interstate highways in the nine counties of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District are open to traffic. For an updated list of road closures and conditions on the Web visit www.511virginia.org/RoadConditions.aspx?r=1.
The flooding from last night’s heavy rains should begin to subside overnight but roads will remain hazardous as long as they are covered by water and motorists should heed the barricades and “Road Closed” signs.
VDOT crews worked all day Monday to clear debris and monitor roads across the region that have been covered as small streams and creeks overflowed their banks. Once the water recedes VDOT crews will check the road surfaces, shoulders and culvert pipes and other structures to be sure they have not been damaged by the water before the road is reopened to traffic.
Drivers should continue to use caution while driving overnight Monday and Tuesday morning since they may encounter standing water or debris in the roads. Motorists are urged to reduce speed, increase following distance behind other vehicles and be alert to changing conditions.
The 69 roads affected by flooding continues to increase from the 64 reported at 5 p.m., compared with 41 roads reported closed in Culpeper District at 11 a.m.
VDOT offers the following safety recommendations to drivers who must be on the road during flooding and high winds:
• Expect the unexpected. Be prepared to slow or stop quickly and without warning.
• At night, drive at a speed that enables you to stop quickly and safely within the distance illuminated by the vehicle’s headlights.
• 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.
• If a flash flood warning is broadcast, seek high ground immediately.
• 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.
• Assume all fallen power lines are electrified and dangerous. Never attempt to drive across, step over or move fallen utility lines.
• The danger is greatest in areas where trees are near to or overhanging the roadway. Use extra caution when driving in those areas.
Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.