Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Gov. Northam Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Potential Winter Storm, VDOT Prepares

VDOT Hampton Roads crews pretreat roads ahead of winter weather. (Courtesy of VDOT)

HAMPTON ROADS — Gov. Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency ahead of a winter storm forecasted for parts of Virginia over the weekend.

Significant snow, sleet, and ice are predicted for a majority of the state late Saturday night into Monday.

“We expect this storm to have a significant impact in many parts of Virginia,” Gov. Northam said. “Declaring a state of emergency now allows our emergency responders to prepare, and to move supplies and equipment where they expect to need them the most. This also gives Governor-elect Youngkin the ability to respond to any storm needs swiftly. I urge Virginians to take this storm seriously and make preparations now.”

Gov. Northam and state emergency officials conducted a joint preparation call with Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin and his team this morning (Jan. 14).

The Virginia Emergency Operations Center has been monitoring the movement of a major winter weather storm heading toward Virginia, with impacts expected to begin Saturday evening. 

The National Weather Service forecast predicts impactful to highly impactful snow, sleet, ice, and freezing rain across the Commonwealth. 

Northam’s office said that parts of Virginia are still dealing with the impacts of recent winter weather, and warned that the upcoming weather system is expected to cause additional downed trees, more electrical outages, and significant impacts on road conditions.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Hampton Roads District is also preparing for the upcoming winter weather by pre-treating roads in advance of the storm.

VDOT is urging drivers to limit nonessential travel and use extreme caution if they must travel. VDOT said that drivers should continue to monitor changing weather and road conditions.

Friday morning, VDOT crews mobilized and began pre-treatment on the Hampton Road district’s interstates and primary roads. 

Crews have gathered materials and loaded equipment to address potential road impacts. Crews are on standby to assist with downed trees, branches and debris that may fall on the road due to high winds.

VDOT crews will work in shifts as part of 24-hour operations to clear and treat the interstate and state-maintained roadways. 

Travel alerts and storm information for the area can be found here.

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