VDOT urging motorists not to travel on Monday

Posted at 7:45 AM, Feb 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-15 13:49:05-05

Norfolk, Va. - Motorists in Virginia are urged not to travel Monday as snow continues to fall and worsen driving conditions.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews have been working throughout the night to plow and treat roads. Most interstates and primary roads are in minor to moderate conditions and snow and ice removal operations will continue as long as conditions exist.

VDOT clears all state-maintained roads. Cities are responsible for clearing their own streets.

From midnight through 7:00 a.m. Monday, Virginia State Police have responded to 163 traffic crashes and 101 disabled vehicles. They say 40 of those crashes have been in the Hampton Roads region.

Dominion Virginia Power does not anticipate widespread outages from the storm. The snow is light and fluffy, which will keep tree branches from becoming weighty and bend into power lines. Ice accumulation following the snow is not expected to reach a level to create any issues.

As temperatures warm today we will switch from snow to a sleet/freezing rain mix to rain. The transition will start on the Outer Banks this morning and transition to the north and west by midday. Most of us will see 1” to 2” of snow accumulation, with higher numbers north and west.

If you absolutely must be on the roads, take your time!

“If it takes you typically 15 minutes to get to work, now you need to be in a 25 minute range,” says Scott Mitchell, the Fleet Operations Manager at Tidewater AAA. “You have to plan ahead.”

That means giving yourself enough time to heat up your vehicle, brush any snow that’s left off of windows and lights and most importantly, give yourself plenty of time to get where you need to be.

“I’m not in a rush,” said Harmonee Clark, a college student in Hampton.

Her advice, “Take it careful. The roads arent really all that clear right now… I really think everybody should take careful and drive slowly and take precautions.

It’s important to be aware of your surroundings like the potentially dangerous driving conditions. But it’s also important to note other drivers on the roadway.

“Other drivers in this area may not be as familier with driving in snow, so be aware that not everybody is as comfortbale as you may be," says VDOT Interstate Maintenance Manager, Bill Collier, "not everybody has four wheel drive or all wheel drive vehcles so you know be a little more cautious and courteous to other drivers out there.”