Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Jan. 30, 2010
VDOT CAUTIONS AGAINST TRAVEL OVERNIGHT
Roads across Piedmont Va. still snow-covered and hazardous
CULPEPER — The Virginia Department of Transportation is cautioning against non-essential travel overnight, as roads remain snow-covered and hazardous. With temperatures forecast to fall into the low teens across Piedmont Virginia black ice is possible, particularly during the early hours Sunday.
Roads across Piedmont Virginia are still snow-covered and hazardous at this hour. Interstate 66 in Fauquier County is reported in minor condition with patches of snow and bare pavement, while I-64 is in moderate condition, snow-covered but passable with caution. The major primary highways throughout VDOT’s Culpeper District are also in moderate condition, as are most secondary roads. The secondary routes in Culpeper, Fluvanna and Louisa counties are in severe condition, with deep snow covering the roads.
Although the storm is ending snow showers and some blowing and drifting of the snow is expected through the evening hours. The very low temperatures will likely cause refreezing of any moisture on the roads so motorists should be aware of slick patches and black ice.
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 will work overnight to clear the roads, focusing first on interstates, primary highways and some high-volume secondary roads that carry the largest volumes of traffic. Crews will continue plowing and applying sand and salt on those highways, and as conditions improve VDOT will shift its equipment onto the secondary system and begin plowing those roads. VDOT crews will continue working around the clock until all roads are passable.
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.