Tamara Rollison 804-786-2715
Oct. 29, 2012
HURRICANE SANDY IMPACT ON VIRGINIA’S ROADS – 6:30 PM, OCT. 29, 2012
RICHMOND – Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) continues to urge motorists to limit travel on roadways until unsafe weather conditions pass. Flooding, high winds and downed trees and power lines are the hazards.
Hurricane Sandy is impacting Virginia statewide. Storm effects began in the Hampton Roads region and the eastern side of Interstate 95 early this morning and are causing some road closures in northern Virginia tonight. Meanwhile cold temperatures grip the western region of Virginia, with heavy snowfall expected in higher elevations.
VDOT is responding to three events: road flooding, fallen debris and snow.
Summary of road closures this hour in eastern and northern Virginia caused mainly by flooding:
100 road closures reported - mostly secondary roads in Accomack, Clarke, Culpeper, Essex, Fairfax, Fauquier, Giles, Gloucester, Halifax, Isle of Wight, James City, King William, Lancaster, Loudoun, Matthews, Middlesex, Prince William, Richmond, Shenandoah, Surry and York Counties.
Summary of winter road conditions in western Virginia:
Icy patches reported in Buchanan, Craig, Giles, Grayson, Highland Smyth, Tazewell, Washington and Wise counties.
In the Hampton Roads region, all tunnels and water crossings are open. The Midtown Tunnel re-opened this evening. The Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel is open but restricted to cars, pick-up trucks, mini-vans and SUVs.
Conditions change by the hour if not sooner. For a full list of road closures and conditions, click http://www.511virginia.org/mobile/?menu_id=conditions
About 1,000 VDOT crews and contractors are working throughout the storm to keep the roads as safe as possible and motorists informed of road conditions.
VDOT crews remove debris from roadways, which involves cutting and hauling fallen trees, branches and other obstacles.
This is done in coordination with power crews as they fix power lines.
VDOT also assists the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies, localities and emergency responders with traffic control, detours and road closures.
Crews are also treating roads that have icy conditions in the western region of the state.
What to watch out for:
- 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.
Message to motorists:
- Limit travel during height of storm.
- Monitor local weather and traffic reports before getting into the car.
- Before heading out the door, get the latest road conditions by calling 511, visit www.511virginia.org or download the mobile app from the 511 web site.
Other information resources:
Report downed trees or hazardous road conditions – Call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623).
Prepare for the storm and find out about other VDOT hurricane preparedness efforts – Visit www.VDOT.Virginia.gov
Hampton Roads area traffic updates are available around the clock on Twitter by following @511hamptonroads. For general VDOT information, follow @VaDOT.
VDOT’s Facebook page will also be updated throughout the storm. https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaDOT
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.