RELEASE:

CONTACT:
IMMEDIATE

Jeffrey Caldwell 804-786-2715
Jeffrey.Caldwell@vdot.virginia.gov

CO-45154

Feb. 11, 2010



VDOT FOCUSES EMERGENCY CREWS IN NORTHERN VIRGINIA
More than 200 extra pieces of equipment already in area, 50 more dispatched today

RICHMOND — Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews in northern Virginia and the northern Shenandoah Valley are getting assistance battling the fourth winter snowstorm to befall the area in the last two weeks.

Additional VDOT crews from Hampton Roads, Richmond, Lynchburg and Salem were dispatched early this week to assist with removal of more than 30 inches of snow that accumulated this past weekend. Now that the mid-week storm has passed out of most areas of the commonwealth, VDOT is deploying more than 50 additional state and contract pieces of equipment and operators to northern Virginia today to assist with cleanup efforts.

“Over the last two weeks, our crews statewide have been working around the clock to clean up from these major storms and to get roadways passable as soon as possible after these storms end,” said Gregory Whirley, acting commissioner. “No area has been hit harder with record snowfall and difficult conditions than northern Virginia and the northern Shenandoah Valley. That is why, at the specific direction of Gov. Bob McDonnell, we are deploying even more equipment from other areas in the state to help dig out these regions.”

Crews in northern Virginia are having an especially challenging time reaching subdivision streets and secondary roads. The large pickup trucks VDOT uses to clear snow from a typical four- to six-inch storm cannot handle the deep snow still blanketing some neighborhoods. Additional larger trucks and front-end loaders have been brought in to clear subdivision and side streets.

Significant progress had been made through Tuesday to clear subdivisions streets from last weekend’s storm, but crews had not reached every neighborhood. Snow removal equipment was recalled to clear higher traffic roads Tuesday and Wednesday, and will return to subdivision streets as soon as possible.

Additional resources from other regions of the state, and the Virginia National Guard will assist with making subdivision streets passable as soon as possible after today’s blizzard conditions subside. VDOT asks motorists to be patient as crews are doing everything possible to remove record amounts of snow from the region’s highways.

VDOT also warns motorists in Northern Virginia that conditions remain treacherous and travel should be avoided if at all possible until road conditions improve.

Motorist Resources

VDOT has a variety of information sources for road condition updates. The 511 traveler-information service gives drivers the most up-to-date data available about weather, construction and accidents that may affect travel. Updates can be received by calling 511 from any landline or wireless phone or by going online to www.511virginia.org to view traffic cameras, the road condition map and the road condition table-report. 

For overall winter weather information, VDOT’s Web site includes frequently asked questions, driving tips and tools for motorists to learn more about VDOT’s winter preparedness at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp. Drivers can also view videos detailing how VDOT prepares for winter weather and address snow and ice on You Tube at http://www.youtube.com/user/vdotweb#grid/user/84A0942814F2FECC

 

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