Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Stacy Londrey 540-727-3201
Jan. 2, 2014
MOTORISTS WARNED OF ICY CONDITIONS OVERNIGHT
Deep freeze, high winds in winter storm’s wake could make for hazardous driving
CULPEPER — Most roads across Central Virginia are reported wet but clear of snow and ice at this hour. The exceptions are Fauquier County, where secondary roads are in moderate condition with significant accumulations of snow on the roads; and in Greene County, where primary and secondary roads are reported in minor condition with patches of snow and ice on the travel lanes.
Although most area roads are clear at this hour conditions are expected to worsen overnight. As the storm leaves the area temperatures are forecast to plummet well below freezing so moisture on the roads will likely freeze later tonight and early tomorrow morning. Drivers should expect to encounter freezing conditions and ice, especially on bridges, overpasses, ramps, crossovers and turn lanes.
Virginia Department of Transportation crews in the nine counties of the Culpeper District will work overnight to treat roads with sand and salt to improve traction and speed the melting process. Crews will focus their efforts first on the interstates and primary highways and move to secondary roads, which are numbered 600 and above, as conditions warrant.
The forecast also calls for high winds overnight, which may bring down power lines, trees and other debris. In addition to icy conditions motorists should also be alert for limbs and other debris in the roadways. VDOT offers the following safety tips to the traveling public:
• Be prepared. Have a winter emergency kit in your car. Be sure your car is tuned up and ready for winter (check tires, antifreeze, windshield wipers, lights, heater, oil, etc).
• Be patient. Allow plenty of time to reach your destination, and keep a safe distance behind other vehicles. Don’t pass a snowplow or spreader. Drive gently — don’t slam on your brakes or jerk the wheel — to avoid your car spinning out of control.
• Be vigilant. Reduce speed. Pay close attention, especially when visibility is low. Be alert for tree limbs and other debris in the roadway. Never attempt to drive across or step over fallen utility lines. Always wear your seat belt.
Motorists should check VDOT’s 511 travel website, www.511virginia.org, before leaving on a trip. The website is updated in real time with weather and road conditions for all highways in Virginia. Once on the road VDOT’s 511 mobile app provides real-time traffic and weather information for both iPhone and Android platforms. Travelers can also call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for real-time information on traffic and road conditions.
Note to reporters and editors: Additional information about VDOT’s preparations for winter weather, how the agency responds to snow and ice, FAQs and information about the technology and tools VDOT uses in its winter weather response is available online at www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp.
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.