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VDOT PREPARES FOR A WIDE RANGE OF WINTER WEATHER TONIGHT AND TOMORROW

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With a winter weather event forecasted to bring western Virginia a mixture of snow, ice and rain overnight tonight and into Wednesday, February 20, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is preparing to plow and treat roads this weekend.  Motorists are urged to monitor weather forecasts, avoid driving during the height of the storm and consider postponing travel until conditions improve.  

To help with snow removal operations, equipment operators began applying a salt-and-water solution called brine ahead of the storm on interstates and roadways in higher elevations today.  Applying brine helps prevent snow or ice from bonding on the road surface and makes it easier to remove when crews plow. 

VDOT road crews and contractors are gearing up to work in 12-hour shifts around the clock to plow or treat roads.  Crews will be plowing snow-covered roads and applying chemicals or abrasives to provide traction on icy roadways.  Debris removal crews will also be ready to respond to downed trees if a significant icing event does occur.   

Drivers are reminded of the following:

  • VDOT’s first priority in any winter weather event is plowing the interstates and primary roads (those numbered 1-599) and high volume secondary roads.  Snowplow operators will be making multiple passes over these major routes and will not plow low-volume secondary roads or neighborhood streets (those numbered 600 and above) until the precipitation stops and progress is made on the main roads.  
  • VDOT reminds residents to avoid parking on the street or in cul-de-sacs because vehicles in the street can block plows and slow down snow removal operations. 
  • VDOT does not plow snow on private roads or driveways.  When snow accumulates, residents are encouraged to shovel driveways to the right when facing the roadway to reduce how much snow a plow pushes back into a driveway as it passes.  

Additional VDOT Information Sources

  • 511 VIRGINIA: Real-time information on road conditions, traffic incidents and congestion on Virginia roads is available using VDOT’s 511 free mobile app or the www.511Virginia.org website and phone system.   

VDOT Customer Service Center

VDOT’s Customer Service Center is open 24 hours a day to answer questions and take reports of roadway hazards at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or online at www.virginiadot.org.

Appalachian Power Storm Preparation Update

Tuesday, February 19, 2019 -  4:00 p.m.

Situation

Appalachian Power is monitoring a winter weather event that could bring ice and wet snow to parts of its Virginia and West Virginia service areas tonight into early Wednesday.

Weather

The forecast is concerning because ice and wet snow can cause downed trees and power lines and lead to damage to electrical facilities. Current forecasts show 1-3 inches of wet snow and pockets of moderate icing (0.20-0.40 inches) affecting much of the company’s service territory in southwest and central Virginia, and portions of Fayette, Greenbrier, Mercer and Raleigh counties in West Virginia.

In Ohio and Marshall counties in West Virginia’s northern panhandle, 2-4 inches of wet snow (with the possibility of 4-6 inches in some areas) is forecasted.

Snowfall in other parts of Virginia and West Virginia is expected to be lighter and less likely to cause widespread power outages.

Storm Preparation Efforts

In advance of the storm, Appalachian Power is strategically staging some workers in areas likely to experience outages. Workers in other areas will be prepared to move Wednesday morning, as needed, into areas with outages. The company continues to monitor the weather closely and will adjust its plans as forecasts of the storm’s expected path, timeline and intensity become clearer.

Safety Message

Heavy wet snow can cause many downed trees and power lines. Customers should treat all downed lines as live power lines and stay away from them. Never touch downed power lines or sparking equipment. Keep children and pets away from fallen lines and anything the lines may touch.

Additional safety tips are posted at https://www.appalachianpower.com/outages/faq/OutageSafetyTips.aspx.