Lou Hatter 540-829-7537
Stacy Londrey 540-727-3201
Feb. 17, 2012
VDOT CREWS PREPARE FOR WINTER WEATHER
Forecast calls for snow beginning early Sunday; motorists urged to drive cautiously
CULPEPER — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is preparing for snow that is forecast to begin early Sunday morning in the nine counties of VDOT’s Culpeper District.
On Saturday, VDOT crews will treat Interstate 64, I-66 and primary roads with salt brine to prevent snow and ice from bonding to the road surface.
VDOT is readying snow removal equipment for the storm, which is expected to continue through late Sunday night, with snowfall heavy at times.
VDOT advises motorists to stay off the roads during inclement weather. If travel is essential, check road conditions and use caution, allowing extra travel time and remaining alert due to low visibility and slick road conditions, especially on bridges, ramps and overpasses, which can freeze first.
Real-time road conditions and weather forecasts are available on VDOT’s traffic and travel web site, www.511Virginia.org. The site also has live traffic camera images for many major highways, including Interstate 64, I-66 and Routes 29 and 250 in Central Virginia. Motorists can call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for road and traffic conditions on all major highways in the state. Call 1-800-367-7623 to report road hazards or ask transportation-related questions.
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.
- Make sure your windows, mirrors and lights are clear of ice and snow.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Allow extra time to travel to 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 electric lines.
- Reduce speed as appropriate and 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.
- Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car. The kit should include a small bag of rock salt, sand or cat litter to provide traction in case you get stuck, a snowbrush and ice scraper, a flashlight, battery booster cables, a blanket and extra clothing.
- Practice common sense. Remember that your car cannot start, stop, or turn as quickly and surely on snow or ice as it does on dry pavement, so think and drive accordingly.
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 on the Web, http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/statewide/2011/virginia_prepared_for_severe55277.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.