Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Stacy Londrey 540-727-3201
March 2, 2014
VDOT PREPARES FOR ANOTHER MAJOR WINTER STORM
Drivers encouraged to postpone travel, monitor weather and road conditions
CULPEPER — The Virginia Department of Transportation is prepared for another major winter storm that is forecast to affect Central Virginia overnight and much of Monday. Current forecasts call for the rain that began this afternoon to change to sleet and freezing rain early Monday morning, then finally to snow that will likely continue most of the day .
VDOT’s Culpeper District is prepared for the storm. Trucks were rigged with plows and loaded with sand and salt today; crews will report for duty later this evening. Since this storm was forecast to begin with rain VDOT did not apply anti-icing chemicals to the region’s highways. Rain washes the brine off the roads and renders it ineffective.
VDOT is cautioning motorists to be extremely cautious if they must travel. The potential for freezing rain early Monday morning will make travel extremely hazardous.
What you should expect
• VDOT crews will begin applying sand and salt to the roads as freezing rain, sleet or snow begins to fall. They will plow once snow accumulates to a depth of 1 ½ to two inches on the road surface.
• Crews will focus their snow-removal operations first on the interstate and primary highways. Once those roads are in good condition crews will move to the secondary roads and finally into neighborhoods to clear subdivision streets.
• VDOT’s goal is to make all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after the storm ends. In many cases plows will make one pass along secondary roads and continue on to open other roads before returning to plow the full width of the road.
How you can help
• Postpone non-essential travel until after the storm passes and roads are in good condition.
• If you must travel check weather and road conditions before you leave, including along the route and at your destination. Allow plenty of time for the trip. Drive for conditions: slow down and leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles.
• Clear all your vehicle’s windows and remove snow from the roof and other surfaces. Keep an emergency kit in the car, including a shovel, sand or other abrasive, a blanket and a flashlight. Keep your gas tank at least half full.
• Shovel snow from your driveway to the right as you face the street. This will minimize the snow pushed into the driveway by plows clearing the road. Consider waiting to shovel the last several feet closest to the street until after plows have passed.
VDOT’s 511 travel website, www.511virginia.org, 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.