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CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Heidi Underwood 540-387-5493
Heidi.Underwood@vdot.virginia.gov

148

Jan. 30, 2010



DRIVERS WILL FIND MOST ROADS SNOW COVERED IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA SATURDAY MORNING
Crews are focusing on clearing interstates and primary roads first

SALEM – 5 a.m. - Drivers will find most roads to be snow covered in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s 12-county Salem District this morning.  As heavy snow continues to fall across the region, snowplow drivers are focusing their attention on interstates and primary roads (those numbered 1-599). Some examples of primary routes are 460, 419, 311, 221, 220, 122, 116, 114, 58, 40 and 8.  Crews are treating the roads with chemicals and abrasives and are plowing the snow as it falls.  Drivers should delay travel if possible to give crews time to clear the roads.

Interstate and primary roads are in moderate condition this morning, meaning they are mostly snow covered.  Some secondary roads in Carroll, Floyd and Patrick counties are in severe condition, which means there is significant snow on the roadway.

Once the snow stops and the interstates and primary roads are clear, operators will continue to use heavy equipment such as motor graders, loaders and dozers on secondary roads (those numbered 600 and above).   

If drivers must travel Saturday morning, they should exercise extreme caution.

Drivers should:

•   Check road conditions before they leave home by calling 511 or logging in to 511Virginia.org
•   Slow down and allow for extra time to reach their destinations
•   Be aware of potentially icy areas such as shady spots and bridges
•   Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road
•   Do not pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary

The 12-county VDOT Salem District includes the counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Franklin, Floyd, Giles, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski and Roanoke.  VDOT is responsible for maintaining county roads; cities and large towns are responsible for snow removal on roads maintained by that locality.

Road condition definitions:
Severe – significant snow or ice on roadway
Moderate – snow or ice on major portions of the roadway.  
Minor – bare pavement except for isolated spots of snow, ice or slush
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