Lou Hatter 434-529-6314
March 6, 2013
ALL CENTRAL VA. ROADS ARE SNOW-COVERED AND SLICK
Motorists urged to postpone travel, check 511 for weather, road condition updates
CULPEPER – Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation are working across Piedmont Virginia as heavy snow continues to fall. Roads are reported snow-covered and slick throughout VDOT’s Culpeper District, with the heaviest accumulations in the western areas near the Blue Ridge Mountains.
All roads, including Interstate 64 and I-66, are in moderate condition, meaning that they are covered with snow and passable with caution. VDOT is encouraging motorists to postpone non-essential travel until road conditions improve.
VDOT and contractor crews are focusing their snow-removal efforts on the interstate and primary highways this morning. As conditions on those roads improve crews will move to the secondary roads and state-maintained subdivision streets. VDOT will work around the clock in 12-hour shifts until all roads are passable.
Trees felled by the heavy snow and high winds are likely to add to the road hazards today. Motorists should be alert for trees and other debris blocking roads, even after the snow stops late this evening.
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.
Road conditions are reported to still be hazardous in other parts of Virginia, especially in western and southwestern Virginia. Motorists should check VDOT’s 511 travel website, www.511virginia.org, before leaving on a trip. 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.