Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Jan. 25, 2010
41 SECONDARY ROADS CLOSED BY HIGH WATER IN CENTRAL VA.
VDOT crews removing fallen trees, motorists urged to avoid flooded roads
CULPEPER — Heavy rains overnight have closed 41 secondary roads in Central Virginia, including roads in Albemarle, Culpeper, Fauquier, Greene, Madison and Orange counties. Numerous roads have also been closed by trees and debris felled by high winds. Motorists should never attempt to drive on roads that are covered by water or drive around barricades and “Road Closed” signs.
Virginia Department of Transportation crews have been working since early this morning to clear roads of debris and monitor roads across the region that have been covered as small streams and creeks overflowed their banks. Conditions are expected to improve this afternoon as the rain ends and flood waters begin to recede. VDOT crews will check roads affected by flooding before reopening them to traffic to be sure no damage was done by the water.
Motorists should check VDOT’s traffic information Web site, www.511Virginia.org, for the latest information about road closings and weather conditions. Drivers should continue to use caution while driving since they may encounter standing water or debris in the roads. Motorists are urged to reduce speed, increase following distance behind other vehicles and be alert to changing conditions.
Across Virginia, as of 10 a.m. one interstate highway, eight primary highways and 234 secondary roads were reported closed due to flooding.
VDOT offers the following safety recommendations to drivers who must be on the road during flooding and high winds:
• Expect the unexpected. Be prepared to slow or stop quickly and without warning.
• At night, drive at a speed that enables you to stop quickly and safely within the distance illuminated by the vehicle’s headlights.
• 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 loss of control due to hydroplaning.
• Avoid flood-prone areas, especially along creeks and other low-lying areas.
• If a flash flood warning is broadcast, seek high ground immediately.
• Be alert for tree limbs and other debris in the roadway. Even small branches and other debris can damage a car or cause the driver to lose control.
• Assume all fallen power lines are electrified and dangerous. Never attempt to drive across, step over or move fallen utility lines.
• The danger is greatest in areas where trees are near to or overhanging the roadway. Use extra caution when driving in those areas.
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.