HAMPTON ROADS, Va. - Cities around Hampton Roads are preparing for Friday night's expected winter storm, one week after another winter storm blanketed most of the area.
The Eastern Shore is expected to get the majority of the area's snow, but the Peninsula and Southside will also see snow accumulations and high winds.
Here's a list of what cities are doing to get ready for the winter weather.
Public Works has pre-treated all major bridges with brine solution. Crews will start 12-hour shifts Friday at 7 p.m. There are 39 plows/spreaders ready with 1,900 tons of salt. 1,200 tons of salt was used in last weekend’s storm, so the city does not expect any issues with supply for this storm.
Please avoid non-essential driving during winter weather. If you encounter snowplows or other equipment on the road, stay at least four car lengths behind and do not pass. Operators have a limited field of vision.
The frigid temperatures forecast for this weekend will make refreeze likely, even after roads have been treated. Motorists should expect black ice on the roads for the next several days, particularly on bridges and overpasses and in shaded areas.
Frozen pipes will also be a concern this weekend. Precautions should be taken by dripping water overnight and opening cabinet doors to let the heat get to the pipes.
If residents find that a pipe freezes over, they should turn off their water at the shut-off valve and call Public Utilities at 757-382-3550. They will send someone to triage the issue. Never try to thaw frozen pipes with an open flame or electrical current.
Wind chills are forecast to make it feel in the single digits. If you’re going to be outside, limit your time and dress in layers, covering as much exposed skin as possible. Know the signs of frostbite and hypothermia. Plan for where you’d go if your power goes out during freezing temperatures for an extended period.
Public Works has pre-treated all major bridges with brine solution. Crews will start 12-hour shifts Friday at 7 p.m. There are 39 plows/spreaders ready with 1900 tons of salt. 1200 tons of salt was used in last weekend’s storm so they do not expect any issues with supply for this storm.
The city asks you to avoid non-essential driving during winter weather. If you encounter snowplows or other equipment on the road, stay at least four car lengths behind and do not pass. Operators have a limited field of vision.
Due to inclement weather, the Recovery Operations Center and all community centers will be closed on Saturday, Jan. 29. Other closures include the Visitor Center and campsite office at Newport News Park, historic sites, and the Virginia War Museum.
City Manager Chip Filer declared a local state of emergency for the City of Norfolk beginning at noon on Friday, January 28.
The City has been preparing for the impending winter storm by pretreating all bridges and major intersections. The City has 23 plow trucks, 16 pickup trucks fitted with plows, 21 spreaders and four salt brine distributor trucks.
Plowing begins once the snow depth reaches 2 inches and conditions are safe to do so. The focus is on primary roads and emergency facilities — neighborhood streets will not be plowed.
Winter storm parking is available downtown. The York Street Garage opened Friday, January 28, at noon and will remain open until Sunday, January 30, at 8 p.m. Street parking is removed along Boush Street, Granby Street, Plume Street, Main Street, City Hall Avenue (in front of Fairfax Building), and the 400 block of Monticello Avenue, to allow for plowing operations. Ticketing and towing of vehicles in these areas will begin Friday afternoon.
The City of Suffolk is under a Winter Storm Advisory from 10 p.m. Friday until 4 p.m. Saturday. Snow is expected, with accumulations up to two inches and winds gusting as high as 35 miles per hour.
Additionally, minor tidal flooding is expected Saturday morning, which could impact the Kimberly Bridge area on North Main Street.
The Suffolk Department of Public Works will have a lead 8-hour shift for crews from 4 p.m. Friday afternoon until midnight. At midnight, crews will begin 24-hour a day, 12-hour shifts to address any plowing or treatment of roadways.
Suffolk Fire & Rescue and Suffolk Police personnel are prepared or service calls resulting from the weather in addition to regular calls.
Motorists are asked to stay off the roads and avoid all nonessential travel during and after the snowfall passes. Bridges and overpasses can be particularly troublesome as they are likely to freeze before roads. If you do have to travel, stay back and avoid passing snow plows as snow or abrasives can come from the plow while it is in operation. Also, drivers should not get directly in front of a snowplow as the heavy machinery is not able to stop quickly.
To check the city's map of priority routes for public paved roadways, click here.
To report roadway issues, citizens can contact Public Works at 757-514-7600, 24/7 during and after the storm until normal operations resume. For after-hours requests for emergency Public Utilities Services, call 757-514-7000 (broken water pipes, etc.)