Dawn Eischen/Sundra Hominik
Media Inquiries: 804-586-4455 Richmondinfo@vdot.virginia.gov
Jan. 17, 2013
VDOT PREPARED FOR THE RICHMOND AREA’S FIRST WINTER STORM
Snow expected to start during afternoon rush hour
COLONIAL HEIGHTS –The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has mobilized equipment and crews in preparation for the winter storm that is forecast to affect the Richmond area between afternoon rush hour and early Friday morning. According to weather forecasts, this storm is expected to bring three to seven inches of snow to the region, with highest accumulations in areas southwest of Richmond. Below freezing temperatures may cause ice accumulation, particularly on bridges and overpasses. Drivers are encouraged to delay overnight and early morning travel, if possible.
VDOT will monitor conditions throughout the storm and will adjust staffing and equipment levels as needed. When the snow begins, roads will be treated with sand to improve traction and salt to help melt the snow and ice and prevent it from bonding to the pavement. Crews will focus their snow and ice control efforts first on the interstates and primary roadways (routes numbered 1-599), then will shift resources to the secondary road system as conditions allow. Even when roads have been treated with sand and salt, drivers must reduce their speed.
VDOT offers the following tips for driving in winter weather:
- Postpone unnecessary travel until conditions improve. If you must drive, know the current road conditions and weather forecasts.
- Slow down and allow extra time to reach your destination.
- Be aware of potentially icy areas such as bridges, overpasses and shady spots. Also, if there is heavy snow, ice or high winds, be alert to potential driving hazards including downed branches, trees and power lines.
- Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and snowplows.
- Do not pass a snowplow unless it is absolutely necessary. Remember, the plow is clearing a path for you.
- If you begin to skid, do not brake. Take your foot off the gas and steer the vehicle in the direction you want to go.
Drivers are encouraged to check VDOT’s 511 travel website, www.511virginia.org, before traveling. 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.