Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Jan. 30, 2010
ROADS ARE SNOW-COVERED ACROSS CENTRAL VA.
Snow is spreading into northern counties; non-essential travel should be avoided
CULPEPER — Roads in Central Virginia are snow-covered and hazardous as heavy snow continues to fall across the region. The snow is spreading into the northern end of the Virginia Department of Transportation’s Culpeper District, with minor road conditions reported in Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties. Road conditions in Albemarle, Greene, Fluvanna and Louisa counties are reported as moderate, with snow covering most of the roads.
Travel is likely to be hazardous during the storm and VDOT is urging residents to avoid unnecessary travel today. Due to the extremely cold temperatures the snow is accumulating rapidly and will create slick conditions on all roads. If travel is essential drivers should check road conditions and weather forecasts before they leave; www.511Virginia.org has up-to-date conditions, weather and other information for travelers. Drivers should also allow extra time for their trip, reduce their speed and increase following distance from other vehicles.
VDOT crews and contract personnel are working across the region to clear the roads as the snow continues. As the storm began crews treated the roads with sand to improve traction and salt to help melt the snow and prevent it from bonding to the road surface. Once the snow accumulates several inches they will begin plowing. VDOT’s crews will focus their snow-removal efforts first on the interstates and primary highways that carry the highest traffic volumes and move to the secondary system as conditions allow.
VDOT offers the following tips for driving in winter weather:
• Make sure your windows, mirrors and lights are clear of ice and snow.
• Always wear your seat belt.
• 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 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.