Hampton Roads is in for a bitterly cold night, when travel will be treacherous.
Regardless of a road’s condition earlier today, below-freezing temperatures and high winds tonight will create an environment prime for roadway refreezing and/or snow drifting. Motorists must continue to stay off the roads through Sunday morning, at the earliest, to allow crews to do their jobs safely and efficiently.
Virginia Department of Transportation crews will be stationed across the district overnight, prepared to respond to slick spots caused by refreezing using salt and sand. Remember, with tonight’s expected low temperatures in the teens, wet spots on the roadways should be considered ice and deemed hazardous to motorists.
As of Saturday afternoon, state-maintained interstate and primary routes in the district were mostly clear following plowing operations. VDOT crews also made significant progress on the Eastern Shore, where total snow accumulation reached 10 inches.
Tonight, crews on the Eastern Shore will continue to plow state-maintained roads, followed by salt application. As of Saturday afternoon, state-maintained primaries and secondaries in this area were in moderate condition, with some snow remaining on most roads.
The department will also be monitoring snow drifting in the area, which can cause even newly plowed roads to be completely re-covered in snow. Due to significant snow accumulation, the overnight refreeze will be particularly treacherous along Eastern Shore routes.
Motorists are reminded that bridges and overpasses freeze before roads, and caution should be exercised if travel is absolutely necessary. Continue to monitor changing weather and road conditions throughout the duration of the inclement weather.
If travel is unavoidable:
- Visit www.511Virginia.org for the latest road conditions before traveling. If possible, avoid travel until precipitation stops and road conditions improve.
- Give crews time and space to treat roads.
- Remove snow and ice from vehicles before traveling.
- If you must travel during adverse weather conditions:
- Allow plenty of time to reach your destination
- Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you
- Brake very lightly to keep your tires from slipping on pavement
- Do not crowd or pass snowplows
- Keep an emergency winter weather kit in your vehicle which includes food, water, first aid materials, tools and blankets in the event of a breakdown or stoppage.
- Free 511 Virginia Tools –Get the latest traffic conditions before traveling by calling 511, or go to www.511virginia.org. You also can download Virginia’s free 511 mobile app at https://www.virginiadot.org/travel/511.asp.
- 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) –Report road hazards or ask road-related questions at VDOT’s 24-hour Customer Service Center by calling this statewide toll-free number.
- Twitter –Follow us @VaDOTHR and @511hamptonroads for the latest traffic updates during a storm.
- WAZE – VDOT recently partnered with Wazeto add a new feature to the navigation software app that allows users to report, in real-time during winter weather, when a road has not been plowed. It will also inform travelers when they are approaching a road that has been identified by other drivers as unplowed.