HAMPTON ROADS — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Hampton Roads District is urging motorists to use caution and avoid travel if possible as crews respond to the impacts of the first winter weather event of the new year.
“With the timing of today’s inclement weather, travel impacts such as snow, falling pavement temperatures, high winds and flooding could affect motorists during their commutes – this afternoon and through tomorrow morning,” VDOT said in a release Monday.
VDOT said that drivers should plan their travel around the weather, if possible.
“While the initial pavement temperatures helped melt snowfall early on in the day, expected heavy snow rates may lead to slushy conditions as the storm moves out through the east,” VDOT said. “Pavement temperatures will continue to drop throughout the evening and could impact rush hour travel. Cold temperatures after precipitation can lead to icy, hazardous roadways.”
VDOT is urging motorists to monitor local forecasts and changing road conditions, and will continue to monitor road surfaces as temperatures fall into the night.
VDOT said that crews will treat the roads as necessary, including treating the interstates with salt to help dry out any potentially hazardous icy conditions.
“Earlier today, VDOT crews loaded equipment with plows and spreaders and mobilized as of 6 a.m. ahead of the forecasted changeover from rain to snow,” VDOT said. “Since the precipitation began as rain, crews were unable to pretreat roads ahead of the snow, as the anti-icing materials would be less effective or wash away.”
Crews will be working in shifts to clear and treat the interstate and state-maintained roadways as necessary. With potential high winds, crews are on standby to assist with downed trees, limbs, and debris.
If travel is necessary, VDOT recommends that drivers give crews time to treat roads, allow plenty of time to get to their destination, keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind the vehicle in front, brake very lightly to keep tires from slipping on the pavement and do not pass snowplows.