Monday, August 15, 2022

Roads Remain Icy, Treacherous; Driving Should Be Avoided

Few cars traveled along the Colonial Parkway as snow fell Friday afternoon. (Elizabeth Hornsby/WYDaily)
Few cars traveled along the Colonial Parkway as snow fell Friday afternoon. (Elizabeth Hornsby/WYDaily)

The sun might be out, but state officials are asking people to stay home today.

Because temperatures are expected to stay close to freezing all day, both primary and secondary roads in Hampton Roads remain snowy and icy enough that driving should be avoided, according to the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Most roads throughout the state, including secondary roads in James City County and York County, are in moderate condition, which means a layer of snow or ice remains on the road surface.

As of 10 p.m. Saturday, Virginia State Police had responded to 342 crashes and 1,004 disabled vehicles throughout the state since midnight. Of those, 182 crashes and 81 disabled vehicles were in the Hampton Roads area.

Those Saturday numbers come after a busy day Friday, when troopers responded to 1,032 traffic crashes and 879 disabled vehicles. Hampton Roads had the most crashes with 339, one of which is a confirmed fatal that occurred in the City of Chesapeake.

During a Saturday morning conference call, Gov. Terry McAuliffe urged Virginia residents to stay off the roads while VDOT crews and contractors attempt to clear the snow and ice.

“I cannot overemphasize the importance of staying off of the roads so our road crews, state police, national guardsmen and women and local responders can do the important work of keeping our communities safe,” McAuliffe said.

VDOT has about 2,500 crew members, 7,000 contractors and more than 13,000 pieces of equipment, which includes plows, trucks and spreaders, working on snow-removal throughout the state.

Snow removal operations cost the state about $2 million per hour to pay for the work from both the VDOT crews and contractors, McAuliffe said. The snow removal budget for the year is set at about $202 million.

McAuliffe said most heavy pieces of VDOT equipment were relocated from Hampton Roads to northern parts of the state because the Hampton Roads region was not expecting heavy snowfall.

WYDaily Reporter Ty Hodges contributed to this report.

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