Lauren Hansen 757-925-1660
Aug. 24, 2011
VDOT CREWS ARE WELL PREPARED FOR EMERGENCY RESPONSE
VDOT is on alert for potential hurricane conditions in Hampton Roads
HAMPTON ROADS— With hurricane season in full swing, crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are ready. The state agency began preparing its crews and facilities for potential hurricane conditions at the onset of the traditional hurricane season.
VDOT has specific operating procedures for hurricanes and employees involved know their roles, have been trained and have practiced their duties during drills and training simulations. Many employees have field experience by working during past hurricanes.
VDOT’s primary role in preparation for, during, and after a hurricane, is to ensure that the roadways are safe for travel. Following a hurricane, VDOT crews will work to open any roads closed as a result of the storm as quickly and safely as possible. Other responsibilities include:
• Setting up traffic control and detours; assisting with traffic control for evacuations
• Removing debris and downed trees from roadways and coordinating clean-up with other entities - such as utility companies
• Making emergency repairs to damaged roads and bridges
• Assessing damage and providing emergency engineering services
• Coordinating long-term recovery to restore transportation infrastructure
• Providing emergency plans and procedures
• Providing back-up communications to support emergency response and recovery operations
• Communicating road conditions to the public through the Transportation Operations Center and Public Affairs
VDOT is monitoring the weather conditions and is in close communication with the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.
VDOT, along with other state agencies and local jurisdictions have developed facility closure guidelines for all area bridges and tunnels. These guidelines outline how VDOT will track environmental factors and effectively communicate to safely close these facilities should they become threatened by flooding and dangerous for motorists. Facility closures will be based on wind speeds, storm surge, rain bands and actual facility conditions.
For more information about VDOT’s hurricane preparedness efforts, visit www.VirginiaDOT.org/hurricanes. For information on VDOT’s emergency response efforts: http://www.virginiadot.org/about/emer_response.asp.
For current travel and traffic conditions, call 511 or visit www.Virginia511.org.
Editors Note: Contact information for your local VDOT Public Relations Office is available on our website: http://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/media_contacts.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.