Darragh Frye 540-899-4119
Sept. 12, 2018
VDOT READY TO RESPOND TO HURRICANE FLORENCE IN THE FREDERICKSBURG DISTRICT
Motorists should plan to avoid travel once road conditions become hazardous
FREDERICKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews in the Fredericksburg District are ready to respond to potential impacts from Hurricane Florence.
While Hurricane Florence’s exact storm track remains uncertain, the region may experience prolonged heavy rainfall, flooding, road damage, high winds, downed trees and utility lines, and other debris and safety hazards in the roadway.
Travel may become hazardous and difficult very quickly. Motorists should plan to avoid travel once road conditions become hazardous. Travelers should 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.
After several days of rain, crews have already responded to downed trees and minor flooding in the Northern Neck area. The rain-saturated soil across the Fredericksburg District will only increase the risk for downed trees and flooded roadways.
Crews will be ready to work 24 hours a day as needed once the hurricane’s effects begin.
Heavy rain and high winds are expected to start late tomorrow, Sept. 13 into Friday, Sept. 14 with possible impacts to last through the weekend.
Drivers should anticipate increased traffic on I-95 northbound in the Fredericksburg area and more visitors at nearby safety rest areas as evacuation efforts from coastal areas continue today and tomorrow.
Ahead of the storm, VDOT staff and crews are working closely with federal officials, state partners at the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and Virginia State Police, city and county officials continuing to plan and coordinate emergency response.
VDOT is also coordinating with utility companies statewide in advance of potential downed power lines.
VDOT will be closely monitoring sustained wind speeds at the Robert O. Norris Bridge on Route 3 between Lancaster and Middlesex counties, and at the Downing Bridge on Route 360 at Tappahannock. Message boards have been placed at bridge approaches and will be activated as needed to warn motorists of high winds advisory on the bridges, or a bridge closure. For more information, please read the news release on VDOT procedures for advisories or bridge closures during high winds.
Ferry service on the Merry Point Ferry in Lancaster County and Sunnybank Ferry in Northumberland County has been suspended until further notice.
Motorists are encouraged to take the following precautions:
- If a traffic signal is out, drivers are advised to treat the intersection as a four way stop.
- Never drive through water flowing across a road. It takes only six to 12 inches of water to float a small vehicle.
- Never drive around barricades. Remember, the road has been closed for your safety.
- Slow down when driving through standing water. Driving too fast through water could cause you to lose control and hydroplane.
- Avoid flood-prone areas, especially along creeks and other low-lying areas. Water in those areas can rise quickly and without warning during heavy rains.
- In the event of a flash flood warning for your area, seek high ground immediately.
- Watch for debris on the roadway. If you encounter a downed power line, do not try to move the line. Downed trees may contain power lines. Contact VDOT or Dominion Virginia Power.
- If involved in a life-threatening emergency, call 911.
Motorists can find real-time information on lane closures, work zones, traffic and other incidents on 511Virginia.
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.