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First Responders, VDOT Offers Tips Ahead of Forecasted Snow

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Snow in Charlottesville Snow in Charlottesville
Sergeant Lee Gibson with the Charlottesville Police Department Sergeant Lee Gibson with the Charlottesville Police Department
Richard Jones with the Charlottesville Fire Department Richard Jones with the Charlottesville Fire Department
Lou Hatter with the Virginia Department of Transportation Lou Hatter with the Virginia Department of Transportation
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

First responders in central Virginia say they're all ready to respond to emergency calls despite the flurries in the forecast, but they have a word of warning as cold weather follows over the next few days.

With the first substantial snow of the season the advice is what you'd expect.

“Just use common sense. If you can stay home, stay home. That's the easiest,” said Sergeant Lee Gibson with Charlottesville police.

“What we recommend is extreme caution. Give yourself plenty of time, do not be in a hurry, safe stopping distance to vehicles in front of you,” said Richard Jones of the Charlottesville Fire Department.

Most roads in central Virginia have been pretreated with salt brine and as snow falls, crews will lay sand and salt.

“Then as it gets to be about an inch, maybe a little bit more of accumulation, then we can start plowing it off the roads,” said Lou Hatter with the Virginia Department of Transportation.

Even after the snow stops, temperatures will remain below freezing through the weekend.

The Charlottesville Fire Department cautions those who use a space heater at home to make sure they don’t inadvertently start a fire.

“Remember, space heaters need space. Keep three feet space around them and don't put any wet clothes on them when you come in from playing in the snow,” Jones said.

You should also plug space heaters directly into the wall, not to an extension cord, and make sure to turn it off before leaving.

Drivers are also cautioned to think twice before heading out.

“So really be careful, even when the storm is over and it looks like things are starting to get better, be aware that you could run into those slick conditions,” Hatter said.

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