Lou Hatter 434-422-9866
Stacy Londrey 540-727-3201
Jan. 21, 2014
TRAVEL IN CENTRAL VA. WILL BE HAZARDOUS OVERNIGHT
VDOT crews continue storm response; drifting snow, icing is likely in wake of snow
CULPEPER — Temperatures are falling, winds are rising and the Virginia Department of Transportation warns that combination will create dangerous driving conditions as the winter storm continues overnight.
Most roads in VDOT’s Culpeper District are wet with patches of snow and ice. All roads in Rappahannock County are in moderate condition, with significant amounts of snow and ice on the road surface. Route 33 at Swift Run Gap in Greene County is also reported in moderate condition as it crosses the Blue Ridge Mountains into Rockingham County.
VDOT crews and contractors have been working since midnight to clear the roads, and emergency operations will continue through the storm. Crews will focus their snow and ice control efforts first on the interstates and primary highways, then will shift resources to the secondary road system as conditions allow. VDOT’s goal is to have all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after a winter storm ends.
Travel tonight will be hazardous, even after the snow ends. Blowing snow and temperatures dropping toward zero will create dangerous driving conditions, including snow drifts and black ice. Anyone contemplating driving overnight should check current weather and roadway conditions before they travel, and unnecessary travel should be avoided or delayed until after the storm passes.
Sub-freezing temperatures are forecast to continue for the next several days so motorists should be aware that icy conditions are likely even after roads are plowed. VDOT crews will continue to address icing as long as it is necessary.
VDOT offers the following safety tips to the traveling public:
• Be prepared. Have emergency supplies in your car. Be sure your car is tuned up and ready for winter (check tires, antifreeze, windshield wipers, lights, heater, oil, etc).
• Be patient. Allow plenty of time to reach your destination, and keep a safe distance behind other vehicles. Don’t pass a snowplow or spreader. Drive gently — don’t slam on your brakes or jerk the wheel — to avoid your car spinning out of control.
• Be vigilant. Reduce speed. Pay close attention, especially when visibility is low. Be alert for tree limbs and other debris in the roadway. Never attempt to drive across or step over fallen utility lines. Always wear your seat belt.
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.