Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews in the Fredericksburg District will begin 24-hour emergency operations at noon today, VDOT announced in a press release. Preparations are being made in advance of forecasted snowfall Thursday afternoon and evening.
"Motorists are encouraged to monitor weather forecasts and limit travel," VDOT said.
VDOT reports nearly 900 pieces of equipment are available to remove snow from the roads, and apply sand, salt and other chemicals in the Fredericksburg District. VDOT has 35 trucks available to target Interstate 95, plowing snow and treating ramps, bridges, and travel lanes.
"If possible, motorists are urged to arrive at travel destinations prior to the commencement of inclement weather," VDOT said. "This fast-moving storm may affect driver visibility."
"Motorists should stay alert for slick or icy road conditions, especially on bridges, ramps and overpasses, which can freeze first," VDOT said.
Motorists can call 511, visit www.511Virginia.org, or use VDOT’s 511Virginia free mobile app to find real-time road conditions in any area of the state.
Road conditions may be rated on 511Virginia as clear, minor, moderate or severe.
- Clear: No conditions.
- Minor: Bare pavement, except for isolated spots of snow, ice or slush.
- Moderate: Snow or ice is covering major portions of the roadway.
- Severe: Significant amount of snow or ice is covering the roadway, and roadway may be partially blocked or affected by drifting snow.
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 (800-367-7623).
Motorists are strongly encouraged to avoid travel during inclement weather. If travel is absolutely necessary, VDOT advised these precautions:
- Keep your car’s windows, mirrors and lights clear of snow and ice.
- Always wear your seat belt.
- Leave a few minutes early.
- Start out slowly in the lowest gear recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.
- Be aware of potentially icy areas such as shady spots and bridges.
- Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road.
- Don’t pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary. Treat these as you would emergency response vehicles.
- Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car.
- Drive smart and pay close attention.
VDOT’s 14-county Fredericksburg District includes the counties of Caroline, King George, Spotsylvania and Stafford in the Fredericksburg area; Northumberland, Richmond, Lancaster and Westmoreland counties in the Northern Neck; Essex, Gloucester, King & Queen, King William, Mathews and Middlesex counties in the Middle Peninsula.
- NWS Issues Winter Storm Warning (Jan. 17, 2013)
- (Jan. 16, 2013)
- National Weather Service Issues Winter Storm Watch (Jan. 16, 2013)
- Winter Storm Survival Tips (Jan. 15, 2013)