VDOT prepares for remnants of Ida to hit Central Virginia roadways

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) spent the last several days preparing for the elements, trees down, and possible accidents on roadways.
Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 8:18 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) spent the last several days preparing for the elements, trees down, and possible accidents on roadways.

All of its chainsaws are ready to go as well as equipment to barricade roads if flash flooding occurs. Crews also spent time clearing all storm drains and medians of debris to prevent the roadways from holding water, which can cause hydroplaning.

“Even though it looks like we dodged a bullet as far as the major impacts, there’s still the possibility,” VDOT Culpepper Spokesperson Lou Hatter said. “The ground is very wet, so that means a lot of this rain is probably not going to soak in, it’s probably going to run off which means we could see flooded roads.”

Route 618 in Madison County is the first road VDOT shut down due to high water.



Road impacts are minimal but drivers should expect more flooded roads through Thursday

CULPEPER — There have been numerous tornado warnings as well as flood watches last night and today but no significant damage to roads in the nine counties of the Culpeper District – Albemarle, Culpeper, Fauquier, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock -- has been reported so far.

Rain from Tropical Depression Ida is forecast to continue to fall through the day and evening, with another inch or more likely to fall across Piedmont Virginia. Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation will be on duty through the storm to respond to any reports of flooded roads or other damage.

Motorists should drive with extreme caution through the day and overnight into Thursday morning. Small streams can rise quickly and without warning due to heavy rain upstream. Two feet of water is enough to float most vehicles, including trucks and SUVs, and when a road is submerged a driver may not be able to tell whether the road is damaged or washed out.

For the latest information about road closures, check 511Virginia.org. A current list of road closures is at Road Conditions Table (511virginia.org).

As the water recedes, Virginia Department of Transportation crews will check any closed roads for damage before reopening them to traffic. Motorists should not drive around barricades, even if the water is down and the road appears passable since there may be damage that is not immediately apparent.

In addition to current traffic conditions and other real-time travel information on the 511 Virginia website, that information is also available on the free VDOT 511 mobile app or by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia. VDOT updates are also on Facebook and the district’s Twitter account, @VaDOTCulp.

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