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Winter storm warning in effect; VDOT crews get ready

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SALEM DISTRICT:  VDOT CREWS PREPARED FOR MORE

WINTER WEATHER

Drivers encouraged to monitor weather forecasts and plan ahead

SALEM– The Virginia Department of Transportation’s Salem District is gearing up again to respond to anticipated winter weather in western Virginia.  VDOT has prepared equipment and alerted employees and contractors to be ready to mobilize.

VDOT will not be pre-treating roads with brine ahead of this storm because the weather event is expected to start out as rain before transitioning to freezing rain or sleet and then snow.  With rain forecasted ahead of frozen precipitation, the brine would wash off roads and not be effective.

As with any winter weather event, snow plow operators will concentrate their initial efforts on the interstate and primary roads (those numbered 1-599) before plowing or treating neighborhood streets or secondary roads (those numbered 600 and above).  Crews will continue to work on the main routes until the precipitation stops and these roads are plowed or treated.

As the winter weather transitions from rain to frozen precipitation, roads are likely to become icy and snow covered.  Motorists are advised to expect changing road conditions and are encouraged to delay travel if possible.  VDOT provides road condition information which is available by calling 511 or visiting www.511Virginia.org.  It is always a good idea to “Know Before You Go!”

If travel is necessary, drivers should use extreme caution and follow these winter driving tips:

•         When driving on ice, don’t slam on your brakes. Travel gently. Turn slowly. Sudden changes can cause your car to spin out of control.

•         Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles.

•         Allow extra time for travel.

•         Make sure your vehicle is winter ready – be sure to completely clear all windows, lights, and side mirrors before driving.

•         Wear your seatbelt and don’t drive distracted.

The Salem District includes the counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski and Roanoke.

 

To reported downed trees on state-maintained roadways, Virginians can contact VDOT’s customer service center at 1-800-367-7623.

WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM TO 7 PM EST MONDAY...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BLACKSBURG HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW AND SLEET WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 7 AM TO 7 PM EST MONDAY.

* LOCATIONS...GENERALLY NORTH OF A LINE FROM ROANOKE...TO FINCASTLE...TO LYNCHBURG...TO CHARLOTTE COURT HOUSE...OR ALONG AN NORTH OF U.S. 460.

* HAZARD TYPES...SNOW AND SLEET.

* ACCUMULATIONS...SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF 3 TO 5 INCHES. SLEET ACCUMULATIONS OF 1 TO 2 INCHES ARE ALSO POSSIBLE...ESPECIALLY EAST OF INTERSTATE 81.

* TIMING...10 AM TO 6 PM MONDAY.

* IMPACTS...UNTREATED ROADS AND SURFACES WILL QUICKLY BECOME SLICK AND HAZARDOUS EARLY MONDAY MORNING. EVEN TREATED ROADS MAY BECOME SNOW COVERED FOR A WHILE DURING PERIODS OF MODERATE SNOW MONDAY MORNING.

* WINDS...NORTHEAST 5 TO 15 MPH WITH GUSTS UP TO 30 MPH.

* TEMPERATURES...35 TO 40 AT DAYBREAK...FALLING QUICKLY TO THE MID TO UPPER 20S BY MID DAY...THEN TO THE UPPER TEENS AND LOWER 20S BY 6 PM.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR HEAVY SNOW MEANS SEVERE WINTER WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW ARE FORECAST THAT WILL MAKE TRAVEL DANGEROUS. ONLY TRAVEL IN AN EMERGENCY. IF YOU MUST TRAVEL...KEEP AN EXTRA FLASHLIGHT...FOOD... AND WATER IN YOUR VEHICLE IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.