After snow, road crews' next battle is against ice

Posted at 4:25 PM, Feb 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-21 17:31:57-05

SUFFOLK, Va. -- Road crews managed to beat the snow on Thursday, but now they have to deal with the risk of ice forming on roads throughout Hampton Roads.

Snow first covered the roads as it came down, but the highways were clear on Friday with traffic moving normally.

Quinton Coleman, a Suffolk resident, said he approved of how road crews cleared the roads. He filled up his truck with gas and peered over to a snow-free Portsmouth Blvd.

"Whoever cleaned the roads did a good job," Coleman said. "I don’t know who did it, but they did a good job."

Coleman said he drove as it snowed Thursday night, but added it was not a bad drive as he noticed the snow did not stick.

He did talk about a terrifying winter moment he once had. That was with black ice.

Black ice forms when there is water on the road, such as when snow melts, and then freezes. The ice is clear with no air bubbles and gives a driver the impression that they are seeing the road.

"It’s a scary situation, but if you are watching it, be careful," Coleman said. "If you know how to react to it, you’ll be okay."

He is not the only watching out for it -- local road crews such as Suffolk's Department of Public Works are, too.

"They’re still working in 12-hour shifts," Diana Klink, the Director of Media Relations for the City of Suffolk, said. "They will then continue working in the overnight hours to address any problems spots."

Klink said city road crews have poured more than 13,000 gallons of a salt brine solution on city roads since Wednesday. The solution helps prevent ice from forming.

The Virginia Department of Transportation will is also taking measures against black ice. In a statement, the agency said:

"VDOT will continue to monitor conditions throughout the day and, depending on the weather conditions, may have some crews available on standby through tonight to treat any issues as they arise if needed."
Virginia Department of Transportation