FEBRUARY 17, 2021
Travel on Thursday will be dangerous, VDOT urges public to stay at home during storm
CULPEPER — The Virginia Department of Transportation urges residents to complete preparations for winter weather as another major winter storm sweeps toward Virginia. VDOT crews are preparing equipment and other resources for the storm, which is forecast to begin impacting Virginia in the early morning hours Thursday.
The storm is forecast to begin as snow, changing to sleet and freezing rain later on Thursday. Travel – even essential travel – is likely to be difficult and dangerous during the storm. All preparations for the storm should be completed today. The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is advising residents to prepare for possible widespread and lengthy power outages due to ice felling trees and power lines.
Brine trucks are applying a mix of salt and water to interstate and primary highways across the district’s nine counties today. VDOT and contract snowplow operators and support staff will report for duty tonight and transition to 24-hour operations.
Once precipitation begins falling, snowplows will spread salt and sand; the salt will help melt any ice on the roads and sand increases traction. As snow accumulates to about two inches on roadways they will begin plowing. Crews will continue working around the clock to keep roads safe for emergency responders and others who must be out on the roads during the storm.
Again, the message for the general public is: Complete storm preparations today and plan to stay home during the storm. Do not attempt to travel during this storm.
For those who must be on the road during the storm:
- Clear your vehicle of all snow and ice including the roof
- Drive for the conditions by reducing speed and increasing following distance
- Brake gently. Remember, it takes longer to stop in snow and ice
- Stay in control. Make smooth, precise movements with the steering wheel and anticipate lane changes, turns, and curves well in advance
- Give plows room to work. Stay back from VDOT snowplows and other equipment
- Use VDOT’s free 511 tools to check road conditions along your route and at your destination
VDOT’s Customer Service Center is open 24 hours a day to answer questions and take reports of roadway hazards. Call 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or contact us online at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov.
Additional information about winter-weather preparations and response can be found at www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp. Local updates are posted to Twitter.com/VaDOTCulp and the district’s snow emergency webpage.
The Culpeper District includes the counties of Albemarle, Culpeper, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock.
SCHEDULED CONSTRUCTION AND MAINTENANCE WORK
February 1 - 5, 2021
(NEW) Route 29 (Seminole Trail) – Signal work at Route 33 (Spotswood Trail). Expect alternating lane closures at the intersection Wednesday and Thursday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
(UPDATE) Route 643 (Entry Run Road) – Road closed for emergency replacement of low-water structure near the dead end. Anticipated completion Feb. 19.
Will Merritt, 540-829-7370 (office)
Lou Hatter, 540-727-3201 (office)