Dawn Eischen 804-524-6179
Oct. 1, 2015
VDOT PREPARED FOR RAIN EVENT, HURRICANE JOAQUIN
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COLONIAL HEIGHTS—The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is preparing to keep Richmond area roadways and drivers safe as the potential for heavy rain, high winds and debris associated with two weather systems is forecasted for the region. The two storm systems include heavy rain that begins this evening and Hurricane Joaquin, which may impact the area this weekend.
In preparation for the storms, VDOT and maintenance contractors have been:
- inspecting and clearing culverts, ditches and inlets to prevent water from collecting on roadways during heavy rain,
- removing debris from roads and shoulders that could block drains,
- removing loose vegetation that could be uprooted by high wind,
- equipping vehicles with necessary equipment (ropes, flashlights, flares, chainsaws, batteries),
- and, inspecting and fueling vehicles.
VDOT is also planning to increase staffs in the traffic operations center and Safety Service Patrols for the duration of the storms. These operations will provide added traffic monitoring, emergency response capabilities and the ability to assist motorists in distress along major routes.
Staff continues to monitor the weather forecasts to adjust operations and may begin working 12 hour rotating shifts throughout the storms.
Motorists are encouraged to monitor weather reports and road conditions before traveling and 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.
Report downed trees, hazardous road conditions or talk to a customer service representative – Call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623).
Find more VDOT resources at www.virginiadot.org.
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.