Kelly Hannon 540-374-3344
Sept. 11, 2018
VDOT PREPARING FOR HURRICANE FLORENCE IN FREDERICKSBURG DISTRICT
Lane closures have been lifted across Fredericksburg area, Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula routes to support evacuation efforts from low-lying coastal areas
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. ⸺ The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is preparing staff, equipment and materials to respond to any unsafe traveling conditions that may develop from Hurricane Florence in the Fredericksburg District, which includes the Fredericksburg area, Middle Peninsula and Northern Neck.
Lane closures were lifted at 8 a.m. today on all state-maintained routes to support evacuation efforts from low-lying coastal areas, including on Interstate 95 and Route 17. Traffic is being closely monitored on Route 17 from Gloucester County to the Fredericksburg area, and signal timing will be adjusted if needed to favor traffic traveling north and west to evacuate.
VDOT is taking the following steps to prepare for potential impacts from Hurricane Florence in the Fredericksburg District:
- Checking drainage facilities to ensure pipes and ditches are clear from debris and obstructions to keep water free-flowing once heavy rain arrives, especially in coastal zones and areas most prone to flooding.
- Construction projects are being inspected to ensure equipment and loose materials are secured, such as construction barrels.
- Chainsaws, sandbags, generators, road signs and barricades are being inspected and positioned for quick deployment at VDOT Area Headquarters locations.
- Message boards are being placed on the approaches of the Robert O. Norris Bridge on Route 3 between Lancaster and Middlesex counties, and at the Downing Bridge on Route 360 at Tappahannock. These boards will be activated as needed to warn travelers of a high winds advisory on the bridges, or a bridge closure.
- Tree removal contractors are being contacted to alert them that VDOT may need their assistance for storm response.
- Ferry service on the Merry Point Ferry in Lancaster County and Sunnybank Ferry in Northumberland County has been suspended until further notice. The ferries are out of service due to elevated water levels from weekend flooding, and to give crews time to secure the vessels in calm weather conditions.
Later this week, travel may quickly become hazardous and difficult as the Fredericksburg District is affected by Hurricane Florence. The region may experience prolonged heavy rainfall, storm surge flooding and freshwater flooding, road damage, high winds, downed trees and utility lines, and other debris and safety hazards in the roadway.
Motorists should closely monitor news reports and check 511Virginia before starting a trip for real-time information on road conditions, high water advisory notices and road closures where you live.
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.