Central Virginia Prepares for Winter Storm - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Central Virginia Prepares for Winter Storm

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Staunton is encouraging people who park on the street to move their cars into the city's public garages ahead of the storm.

The city opened the Johnson Street and New Street garages at noon Sunday for free parking until snow removal operations are finished in the downtown central business district.

The city hopes people will park off the street to allow crews to clear snow faster.

VDOT Press Release:CULPEPER — The Virginia Department of Transportation is prepared for another major winter storm that is forecast to affect central Virginia overnight and much of Monday. Current forecasts call for the rain that began this afternoon to change to sleet and freezing rain early Monday morning, then finally to snow that will likely continue most of the day .

VDOT’s Culpeper District is prepared for the storm. Trucks were rigged with plows and loaded with sand and salt today; crews will report for duty later this evening. Since this storm was forecast to begin with rain VDOT did not apply anti-icing chemicals to the region’s highways.

Rain washes the brine off the roads and renders it ineffective.

VDOT is cautioning motorists to be extremely cautious if they must travel. The potential for freezing rain early Monday morning will make travel extremely hazardous.

What you can expect

    · VDOT crews will begin applying sand and salt to the roads as freezing rain, sleet or snow begins to fall. They will plow once snow accumulates to a depth of 1 ½ to two inches on the road surface.
    · Crews will focus their efforts first on the interstate and primary highways. Once those roads are in good condition crews will move to the secondary roads and finally the neighborhood streets.
    · VDOT’s goal is to make all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after the storm ends. In many cases plows will make one pass along secondary roads and continue on to open other roads before returning to plow the full width of the road.

How you can help

    · Postpone non-essential travel until after the storm passes and roads are in good condition.
    · If you must travel check weather and road conditions before you leave, including along the route and at your destination. Allow plenty of time for the trip. Drive for conditions: slow down and leave plenty of space between you and other vehicles.
    · Clear all your vehicle’s windows and remove snow from the roof and other surfaces. Keep an emergency kit in the car, including a shovel, sand or other abrasive, a blanket and a flashlight. Keep your gas tank at least half full.
    · Shovel snow from your driveway to the right as you face the street. This will minimize the snow pushed into the driveway by plows clearing the road. Consider waiting to shovel the last several feet closest to the street until after plows have passed.

VDOT’s 511 travel website, www.511virginia.org, is updated in real time with weather and road conditions for all highways in Virginia. Once on the road VDOT’s 511 mobile app provides real-time traffic and weather information for both iPhone and Android platforms. Travelers can also call 511 from any telephone in Virginia for real-time information on traffic and road conditions.

Town of Culpeper Press Release:

In anticipation of predicted significant snowfall, Culpeper Town Manager Dewey Cashwell will activate, at 10 p.m. Sunday night, the town’s Snow Emergency Route plan that prohibits parking and abandoning vehicles on specifically named roads and streets in town.

“By announcing activation of the snow emergency route plan early, we wanted to give people ample time to respond before the storm, before freezing rain, sleet and significant snowfall arrives.” said Public Works Director Jim Hoy.

The snow emergency route plan, which was activated last month proved to be a huge success, allowing town crews to clear the estimated 14 inches of snow. By prohibiting parking on the specified streets, snow equipment can more efficiently clear the roads and thereby make them passable quicker.

Main Street and Davis Streets will be impacted the most when the plan is activated.

“As we did last month, off- street extended duration parking will be available in all town surface lots for residents who may have to move vehicles parked on snow emergency routes,” said Hoy.

Customers, who want to patronize downtown businesses Sunday night and Monday, will find ample parking in town surface parking lots or in front of the Depot.

The Snow Emergency Route ban on parking and abandoning vehicles will remain in effect until lifted.

Following the same procedure as the last major storm, a Code Red or reverse 911 call was made by the Culpeper County Public Safety Communications Center notifying residents of the snow plan activation.

In anticipation of the storm, town Public Works crews have been placed on 12-hour shifts beginning at 8 p.m. tonight.

Also, crews plan to pre-treat bridges and some hilly roads that can prove treacherous during snow events.

Town officials will announce later if town office hours need to be altered due to inclement weather.

The following roads are included in the Snow Emergency Route ordinance:

    · James Madison Highway (Business U.S. 29 north)
    · Main Street
    · Madison Road (Business Route 29 south)
    · Germanna Highway (Route 3)
    · Sperryville Pike (U.S. Route 522)
    · Orange Road (U.S. Route 15)
    · Old Rixeyville Road
    · Laurel Street
    · Sunset Lane
    · East Piedmont Street from N. Main St to Old Brandy Road
    · Old Brandy Road
    · Ira Hoffman Lane
    · East and West Davis streets

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