As roads refreeze overnight, officials warn of driving dangers

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Jackknifed tractor-trailer along I-81 at the 167 mile marker in Botetourt County Saturday (Jan. 7) afternoon. (Courtesy Virginia State Police)
Jackknifed tractor-trailer along I-81 at the 167 mile marker in Botetourt County Saturday (Jan. 7) afternoon. (Courtesy Virginia State Police)

Although the worst of the winter storm is over, the Virginia Department of Transportation and Virginia State Police are still warning drivers to beware of refreezing and snowy roads.

VDOT is reminding drivers to be careful while traveling in the Hampton Roads region, and avoid driving if possible, said a Sunday afternoon news release from VDOT.

“While the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) continues to make progress clearing roadways, the concern now is falling temperatures across the region tonight will cause refreezing and dangerous, icy conditions,” the release said.

Temperatures are not expected to rise above freezing until Tuesday, although temperatures could hover as high as 31 degrees Monday in eastern Virginia, according to weather reports from the National Weather Service.

The National Weather Service also issued a special weather statement for Sunday night, warning residents that temperatures could plummet, falling to between zero and 10 degrees in Hampton Roads, with temperatures between 10 and 15 degrees on the coast.

“Partial melting of snow occurred during Sunday and will refreeze on roads and walkways tonight,” the statement said. “Travel will remain hazardous tonight and Monday morning. Decrease your speed and leave plenty of distance between the vehicle in front of you.”

Both Williamsburg-James City County and York County school divisions have cancelled school Monday, according to tweets from the divisions. York County has also canceled classes Tuesday.

Since the winter storm’s arrival in Virginia, state police responded to 772 traffic crashes and aided 1,234 disabled vehicles statewide, according to a 6 p.m. VSP news release. A majority of crashes have involved only damage to vehicles.

One crash, in Green County, was fatal, according to police. Icy roads were a factor in the crash.

In the Hampton Roads region, state police responded to 162 traffic crashes and 520 disabled vehicles.