Aug. 25, 2011
VDOT PREPARES FOR HURRICANE IRENE
Fredericksburg area VDOT employees are testing equipment and staging resources
FREDERICKSBURG—The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is preparing to keep roadways and motorists safe as the potential for flooding, heavy rain, high winds, and debris associated with Hurricane Irene remains high in the Fredericksburg region.
This week, VDOT maintenance operations teams in the Fredericksburg area, Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula concentrated on clearing culverts, ditches and inlets that will channel water away from roadways during heavy rain. Signs and barricades are being pre-positioned near bridges, low-lying areas and potential evacuation routes for rapid access during storm operations. Trucks, chainsaws and generators were tested and fueled.
This weekend, VDOT teams will report to duty throughout the 14-county Fredericksburg District. Operations will continue 24 hours a day to assist emergency responders with traffic control, detours or road closures. Work will continue following any severe weather to clear all roadways of debris as quickly as possible to restore traffic.
VDOT is working in partnership with the National Weather Service, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, and local governments in the Fredericksburg District to respond to changing weather conditions, safety hazards, traffic incidents, and other needs.
Motorists are encouraged to monitor weather reports and road conditions before traveling and take additional precautions:
- 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.
- Area bridges will be closed by VDOT crews if conditions become unsafe for travel. Closure timing is based on wind speed at the facility.
- 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. Water in those areas can rise quickly and without warning during heavy rains.
- If a flash flood warning is broadcast, seek high ground immediately.
- Watch for debris on the roadway. If you encounter a downed power line, do not try to move the line.
Real-time listings of road conditions in Virginia are available on VDOT’s 24-hour traffic and travel information website, www.511Virginia.org. Bridge and road closures, including all secondary road closures, will be listed here.
Motorists can also access 511Virginia by calling 511 from any telephone in Virginia.
VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) is open 24 hours a day. Agents will be available to answer customer questions and record any reports of downed trees and road hazards.
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.