State Police Render Assistance to Snowbound Drivers
At least three inches of snow has fallen across the area today. Now, some drier air is working its way into the region and that could decrease the forecast snow totals.
Virginia’s Governor Terry McAuliffe this morning declared a state of emergency throughout the commonwealth and urged people not to drive unless they absolutely had to.
“This storm could bring difficult travel and widespread power outages for the next few days,” stated McAuliffe in a press release. “It is also going to be very cold with gusty winds across Virginia. Please postpone travel during the storm, charge up your mobile devices so you can stay in touch, and take time to check on your neighbors in case they need help.”
But some who ventured out wound up needing help from Virginia State Police.
In the agency’s Fairfax Division, which includes Prince William County and the major Northern Virginia highways there, there was a total of 200 calls for service, 65 crashes, and 41 stalled vehicles, according to spokeswoman Corinne Geller.
In the Culpeper Division, which includes Stafford County and Fredericksburg, there were 85 crashes, 37 disabled cars, and a total of 195 calls for help.
A winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 p.m. by the National Weather Service but if conditions improve it’s likely that warning will come down.
This latest update from VDOT states how road crews will prioritize their snow clearing duties:
Road Clearing Priorities
Crews will focus first on clearing roads that carry the most traffic.
Crews begin by clearing interstates, primary roads and major secondary roads that connect localities, fire stations, employment hubs, military posts, schools, hospitals and other important public facilities, followed by secondary roads and subdivision streets.
Driveway Clearing Tips
To make as many roads passable as quickly as possible, VDOT plow operators will push snow off the roadway in smooth, continuous passes. It ends up along road shoulders, sometimes blocking driveways.
To avoid doing double work, wait until a plow has cleared your street before shoveling snow from the end of a driveway.
For motorists who must shovel the end of their driveway before a plow arrives, shovel it to the right of your driveway as you face the road.