Joe Vagi 804-371-8304
Oct. 2, 2015
HEAVY RAIN EXPECTED TO CAUSE FLOODING, DOWNED TREES
Motorists are urged to limit travel during heavy rain
RICHMOND – Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews have been deployed to address flooding, and are on standby for mobilization to areas affected by heavy rainfall that will affect the Commonwealth today through Saturday.
The Hampton Roads, Richmond and Fredericksburg regions, and the eastern slopes of the southern Blue Ridge are expected to be hardest hit. Between two and six inches of rain is forecasted across the state, with the heaviest rains occurring on Friday.
VDOT crews and contractors will work throughout the storm to keep the roads as safe as possible and motorists informed of road conditions. VDOT will also assist the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and other state agencies, localities and emergency responders with traffic control, detours and road closures.
Flooding and downed trees will be the hazards. At this time, Hurricane Joaquin is not expected to directly impact Virginia, but VDOT continues to monitor its track.
Motorists should plan for difficult travel through Saturday. Anyone traveling is encouraged to first call 511 or go online to www.511virginia.org for the latest road conditions. Flooding, downed trees, or any road hazard should be reported to VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623).
What is happening today across the state:
- Nearly 40 roads closed, mostly in the Salem District due to flooding. The closure list changes frequently. For a full list of the latest road closures and conditions, go to http://www.511virginia.org/mobile/?menu_id=conditions
- Seven roadways are washed out.
- Emergency repairs are ongoing in the Salem, Staunton and Culpeper Districts from flooding earlier this week.
- About three miles of Route 58 on Lovers Leap Mountain in Patrick County will close today for repairs due to flood damage.
- In the Hampton Roads District, major impacts are focused around flooding and high tide. There is minor flooding in low-lying areas as well as some downed trees.
- Flood gate testing completed at the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel (HRBT) and the Midtown Tunnel. All tunnels are open currently.
- Tide elevations are currently lower than predicted at the Midtown Tunnel. The tunnel remains open to traffic at this time. Elizabeth River Tunnels (ERT) will continue to closely monitor weather conditions and tide cycles.
- The Jamestown Scotland Ferry remains open.
- The Merry Pointe and Sunnybank Ferries will be closed throughout the storm.
What to watch out for:
- If a traffic signal is out, drivers are advised to treat the intersection as a four way stop.
- 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.
- Slow down when driving through standing water. Driving too fast through water could cause you to lose control and hydroplane.
- 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.
- Watch for debris on the roadway. If you encounter a downed power line, do not try to move the line. Downed trees may contain power lines. Contact VDOT or Dominion Virginia Power.
Click below to watch video on how to drive safely in the rain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDcC_NazB6w
Other information resources:
- Prepare for the storm and find out about other VDOT hurricane preparedness efforts - Visit www.VDOT.Virginia.gov
- VDOT’s Facebook page will also be updated throughout the storm - https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaDOT
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.