|IMMEDIATE - 3 p.m.
Kelly Hannon 540-374-3344
Sept. 14, 2018
FLOODING, HIGH WINDS MAY AFFECT WEEKEND TRAVEL
Heavy rain could reduce motorist visibility, and travelers should remain vigilant for debris, high water and other roadway hazards
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. ⸺ Weekend travel in the Fredericksburg area, Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula may be affected by heavy rain, flooding and high winds, and motorists should plan to remain vigilant for potential hazards in the road ahead.
Before starting a trip, travelers can check 511Virginia to see a list of real-time road conditions. 511Virginia will report state-maintained roads partially or completely blocked due to flooding, debris, downed utility lines or other safety hazards.
The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) remains ready to respond to any unsafe road conditions resulting from Hurricane Florence. Crews, equipment and materials are prepared to quickly remove downed trees and post warning signs for flooded and closed roads.
Lane closures remain lifted districtwide to assist with emergency storm response. Tolls will remain lifted until 6 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 15 at the George P. Coleman Bridge on Route 17 between Gloucester and York counties.
Travelers are encouraged to allow extra travel time, reduce their vehicle speed, and increase following distance between vehicles to improve reaction time.
Additional travel tips:
- Report downed trees, tree debris, or other roadway hazards to VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or online at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov. The Customer Service Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
- Never drive across a flooded roadway. The underlying road or bridge may be damaged or completely washed away beneath flood waters, and a few inches of water can sweep vehicles downstream. Turn around, don’t drown!
- Avoid flood-prone areas, especially along creeks and other low-lying areas.
- Follow proper procedure when a traffic signal is completely dark, or flashing
- Keep headlights on while it’s raining: it’s the law.
- 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.
- If you come across a downed power line, do not try to move it. Contact your local authorities.
- In a life-threatening emergency, dial 911.
High Winds Protocol for Robert O. Norris Bridge, Downing Bridge
VDOT will monitor sustained winds on the Robert O. Norris Bridge, which carries Route 3 over the Rappahannock River between Lancaster and Middlesex counties, and on the Downing Bridge, which carries Route 360 traffic over the Rappahannock River between Richmond County and the Town of Tappahannock in Essex County.
When sustained winds reach 30 mph over a period of 15 minutes at the Norris Bridge or Downing Bridge, VDOT will post a high wind advisory notice. High-profile vehicles such as tractor-trailers, box trucks, and large vans and SUVs are advised to not cross these bridges when a high wind advisory is posted.
When sustained winds reach 40 mph at the Norris Bridge or the Downing Bridge, or there are frequent wind gusts of 45 mph or greater, VDOT crews will post a bridge closure notice. Notices will be communicated through VDOT news releases, VDOT social media platforms, posted on message boards staged at the bridges, and on 511Virginia. However, bridges will not be physically barricaded. VDOT personnel will seek shelter once sustained winds reach 40 mph.
Ferry service on the Merry Point Ferry in Lancaster County and Sunnybank Ferry in Northumberland County remains suspended until further notice.
VDOT’s 14-county Fredericksburg District includes the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford in the Fredericksburg area; Northumberland, Richmond, Lancaster and Westmoreland counties in the Northern Neck; Essex, Gloucester, King & Queen, King William, Mathews and Middlesex counties in the Middle Peninsula.
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.