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Winter Storm Update and Road Clearing Schedule

Spreaders and plows are installed, checked for operation and vehicles topped off with fuels. Salt and calcium mix will be loaded in advance of the storm allowing crews to get the initial application under the snow, to prevent bonding. Clearing is done on a priority basis, Bridges and high volume streets cleared first (Main & Atlantic). Once the most heavily traveled streets and emergency routes are adequately clear, snow crews will move to less-traveled streets and subdivisions.

Bridges are likely to freeze first in this storm so we will be treating them first. Locations are Main St, Hicksford Ave, East Atlantic St and Sunnyside Rd.

Priority Snow Removal Routes                

It is the goal of the City to remove snow and ice from all city streets. Staffing and equipment limitations require the setting of priority routes. Recognizing that all streets with high traffic volume and emergency access demand the most immediate service, the following streets shall receive top priority for snow and ice removal:

First Priority

Main St., Atlantic St., Market Dr., Cloverleaf Dr., Dominion Dr., Commonwealth Blvd.

Emergency Routes

Valley St., Halifax St. (business), Baker St., Budd St (Police Dept), Virginia Ave., Fire Station (Driveways), GVRS (Driveways), Tall Oaks Dr. (WWTP), Wiggins Rd. (WTP),

Weaver Ave.

Industrial Routes

Sunnyside Rd., Industrial Dr., Reese St., Davis St., Mills Rd.

Second Priority

Halifax St., Southampton St. , Lee St., Hicksford Ave., Brunswick Ave., Laurel St., Lowground Rd., Brink Rd., Purdy Rd.

Third Priority

Satterfield Dr.,Lakeside Dr.,Walnut Dr., West End Dr.,Carroll St.,Park Ave.,Center St.,Tillar St.,Clay St., Jefferson St.,Peachtree St., Church St., Old Halifax Rd.

Snow and ice shall be removed from all remaining streets based on traffic volume as conditions, staff and equipment allow.

Once Snow and Ice Begin to Accumulate, Residents are Advised to Travel Only of it is Absolutely Necessary.

The City of Emporia will run the Normal Sanitation (Garbage) Route on Thursday.

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Governor Terry McAuliffe Declares State of Emergency As Winter Storm Approaches

RICHMOND, Va. – Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency today, an action that authorizes state agencies to be ready to assist local governments in responding to the major snow storm that is forecast to hit the Commonwealth starting tomorrow.

In declaring a state of emergency, the governor authorizes state agencies to identify and position resources for quick response anywhere they are needed in Virginia.

“Now is the time for Virginia to get ready for this storm,” said Governor McAuliffe. “This state of emergency declaration will empower the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Department of Transportation, the Virginia National Guard, and our electric and cable utilities to prepare for a storm that is predicted to create power outages and significant travel challenges across the Commonwealth over the next few days. 

“Just as state government is preparing for this storm, I urge every Virginian to take proper preparations. Prepare to limit unnecessary travel during the storm, have emergency supplies on hand and be ready in the event that power in your area goes out.”

To prepare for the storm:

  • The Virginia Emergency Operations Center has additional response team members to coordinate the state’s response to the storm.
  • The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is coordinating conference calls between the National Weather Service, state agencies and local governments.
  • The Virginia Department of Transportation is treating roads in some parts of the Commonwealth, and crews will be out in full force for snow removal as the storm arrives. Roads with the highest traffic volumes are cleared first.  VDOT has adequate supplies for this storm. 
  • The Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring up to 300 personnel on state active duty to support emergency response operations.  Virginia Guard personnel will be alerted to begin staging and expect to be in place Wednesday so they are able to rapidly respond if needed.
  • The Virginia State Police will extend shifts and have additional troopers on patrol to expedite response times to traffic crashes and disabled motorists. 

Citizens should:

  • Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours, in case roads are blocked and/or there are power outages.
  • A three-day supply of food includes a gallon of water per person per day and food that does not require electricity to prepare it.
  • Have a battery powered and/or hand-crank radio and extra batteries for emergency information.  Listen to local weather forecasts and instructions from local officials.
  • Always run generators outside in well-ventilated areas.  Never use a portable generator in any enclosed or partially enclosed space.
  • Only travel if absolutely necessary.  Roads can become very hazardous very quickly.  Always wear a seatbelt, and know road conditions before you leave.  Road condition information is available 24/7 by calling 511 or going to www.511Virginia.gov
  • Have emergency supplies in your vehicle.  If you are stranded you will need water, food, blankets, flashlight and extra batteries at a minimum. 
  • Avoid overexertion while shoveling snow and cleaning up from the storm, no matter your age or physical condition.  Shoveling snow or pushing a car can bring on a heart attack or make other medical conditions worse.
  • If you need help for an elderly or disabled person during the storm, need information on warming shelters or are concerned about an unsheltered individual or family, call 211 or visit www.211virginia.org.  When you call 211, a trained professional will suggest sources of help using one of the largest databases of health and human services in your community and statewide.
  • Get winter weather preparedness information at www.ReadyVirginia.gov and download the new Ready Virginia app for iPhones and Android devices.

VSP fields 801 Calls for Service Between Midnight and 8 AM

RICHMOND – Since midnight,  Virginia State Police troopers and dispatchers statewide have fielded  801 calls for service statewide. During the period statewide, Virginia troopers responded to 238 traffic crashes and 191 disabled vehicles. The majority of the crashes involved damaged vehicles only. There have no reported traffic fatalities.

Motorists are still being advised to stay off the highways as secondary roads are slick and hazardous. For their safety, drivers are advised to delay travel until later Tuesday so VDOT crews can continue to treat and clear the highways.

Drivers are also advised NOT to call 911 or #77 to find out about road conditions. These phone lines must remain clear for real emergencies. Call 511 for road conditions or click on www.511virginia.org.

If having to travel, drivers are reminded to do drive to save lives (#drivetosavelives):

  • Clear off all snow from your vehicle – windows, roof, trunk and lights            
  • Add extra time to reach travel destination
  • Slow speed for road conditions
  • Increase driving distances between vehicles for increased stopping distance
  • Buckle up and don’t drive distracted
  • MOVE OVER for all stopped emergency vehicles, highway vehicles and two trucks.

URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE

FROM THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAKEFIELD VA FOR  LAWRENCEVILLE....EMPORIA......WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EST FRIDAY...

A WIND CHILL ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL NOON EST FRIDAY.

* LOCATIONS...CENTRAL AND SOUTH CENTRAL VIRGINIA...INCLUDING THE   EASTERN VIRGINIA PIEDMONT...THE NORTHERN NECK OF EASTERN   VIRGINIA AND THE RICHMOND METRO AREA.

* HAZARD TYPES...DANGEROUSLY COLD WIND CHILLS.   * TEMPERATURES...FALLING TO 3 BELOW TO 5 ABOVE ZERO TONIGHT.  * WIND CHILL...ZERO TO 5 BELOW ZERO THIS AFTERNOON...5 TO 10 BELOW

TONIGHT-THROUGH FRIDAY MORNING.

* IMPACTS...FROSTBITE AND HYPOTHERMIA MAY OCCUR IF PRECAUTIONS   ARE NOT TAKEN. FROZEN PIPES COULD BE A PROBLEM DUE TO THE COLD TEMPERATURES.

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VSP fields 3,300+ Calls for Service Since Monday Afternoon

RICHMOND – From 4 p.m. Monday through 12 p.m. Tuesday, Virginia State Police troopers and dispatchers statewide have fielded 3,363 calls for service statewide. During the period statewide, Virginia troopers responded to 1,035 traffic crashes and 1,023 disabled vehicles. The majority of the crashes involved damaged vehicles only. Due to vehicles losing control on slick roadways, two VSP troopers have been struck and injured. There have been two weather-related fatal traffic crashes in Virginia.

Loudoun County Fatal Crash: Monday night at 10:05 p.m., Virginia State Police responded to a two-vehicle crash in Loudoun County on Route 15 near Route 50. A 2000 Nissan Pathfinder was traveling south on Route 15 when the driver lost control. The Nissan slid into the northbound lanes and collided with a 2005 Kia Sedona. A backseat passenger in the Nissan Pathfinder, Javier Alexander Anzora, 40, of Purcellville, Va., was transported to Cornwall Hospital where he later died. Anzora was not wearing a seat belt. (This is all I have on the crash…no add’l detail on the driver or any other injuries)

Wythe County Fatal Crash: Virginia State Police Trooper J. Graham responded to a single-vehicle crash in Wythe County. The crash occurred at 12:50 p.m. Monday (Feb. 16)0 on Interstate 81 at the 58 mile marker.  A 2006 Ford F-250 pickup truck was southbound on I-81 when it ran off the right side of the road and into the median where it overturned. The driver, Donald R. Taylor, 63, of Chilhowie, Va., died at the scene. He was not wearing a seat belt.  A passenger 16-year-old female passenger was wearing a seat belt. She was not injured in the crash. It was snowing at the time of the crash and the interstate was snow-covered.

A State Trooper was struck Monday evening while investigating a traffic crash. At 8:13 p.m., Trooper Carnell Draughn Sr. was seated inside his vehicle on I-264 at a crash scene in the westbound lanes just east of Frederick Boulevard in Portsmouth. A vehicle lost control and struck the trooper’s car. The trooper was transported to Chesapeake General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. He was released later Monday evening.

VSP Trooper M.J. McSellers was treated and released today after being involved in a crash early Tuesday morning. Trooper McSellers had responded to a single-vehicle crash in the northbound lanes of I-495 at the 45 mile marker in Fairfax County.  He had pulled in behind the crashed vehicle when a northbound pickup truck lost control, spun out and struck the trooper’s patrol car in the rear. Trooper McSellers was seated inside his patrol car at the time of the crash and tried to steer his vehicle away from the disabled vehicle in front of him. But, the impact of the crash pushed his patrol car into the original car and then into the Jersey wall. The driver of the original vehicle was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Motorists are still being advised to stay off the highways as secondary roads are slick and hazardous. For their safety, drivers are advised to delay travel until later Tuesday so VDOT crews can continue to treat and clear the highways.

Drivers are also advised NOT to call 911 or #77 to find out about road conditions. These phone lines must remain clear for real emergencies. Call 511 for road conditions or click on www.511virginia.org.

If having to travel, drivers are reminded to do drive to save lives (#drivetosavelives):

  • Clear off all snow from your vehicle – windows, roof, trunk and lights            
  • Add extra time to reach travel destination
  • Slow speed for road conditions
  • Increase driving distances between vehicles for increased stopping distance
  • Buckle up and don’t drive distracted
  • MOVE OVER for all stopped emergency vehicles, highway vehicles and two trucks.

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Governor McAulliffe Declares State of Emergency Due to Winter Storm

Virginians Advised to be Prepared for Storm Conditions

RICHMOND - With Virginia's impending snow storm, it's best to plan ahead now. Virginia State Police is advising all motorists to delay travel plans for tonight and/or Tuesday morning, as roads will be treacherous. With the forecasted freezing temperatures, any snow and ice accumulations are expected to stick around for a few days. So it is important to prepare your home, family, and vehicle in advance.

If you do have to travel, then please keep these tips in mind:

Make sure you and your car are properly equipped:

  • Make sure your vehicle has ample antifreeze, the windshield is clean and you have plenty of windshield washer fluid.
  • Check to make sure the headlights are clean and in working order. In Virginia, state law requires you to use your headlights when operating your windshield wipers.
  • Verify that the tires have tread and are properly inflated.
  • Have your battery tested, to avoid being stranded in the cold with a car that won't start.
  • Equip your car with a flashlight and extra batteries, a first aid kit, warm clothes, bottled water, snacks, and a blanket.
  • Remember to have sunglasses in the car, as the glare of the sun off of snow and ice can be more intense in the winter than it is in the summer.

Perhaps the most important of all: Remember your cell phone, so you can call #77 to reach State Police in case of emergency. Bring your phone charger, too!

Slow down and drive to save lives (#drivetosavelives). ALWAYS wear your seat belt, as this will minimize injuries in case you lose control on icy road conditions and slide off the highway.

Avoid abrupt acceleration, braking and unnecessary lane changes. These maneuvers can cause your vehicle to lose traction and can launch you into an uncontrollable skid, leading to a collision.

 

Do not tailgate as you will need additional space between vehicles for safe stopping and maneuvering on slick roadways.

 

911 and #77 are for emergencies and NOT road conditions. Please call 511 or go towww.511virginia.org for road conditions and closures. 911 and #77 need to remain open for real emergencies.

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More Wintry Weather

True to the adage about waiting five minutes if you do not like the weather in Virginia, yesterday's wintry weather was a complete turn around from Sunday.

While the Sunday afternoon high was just over 70 degrees Fahrenheit, Monday's high never topped 40 and was accompanied by a North wind, rain, sleet and snow.  There was truly insignificant snow accumulation, but that thin layer of snow covers a thin sheet of ice. Please use caution if driving, and only do so if absolutely necessary. 

Slick road conditions continued to cause problems Monday as more than 1,100 motorists crashed on Virginia’s highways. From 12 a.m. Monday through6:30 p.m. Monday, Virginia State Police troopers statewide responded to 1,145 traffic crashes and 451 disabled vehicles. Virginia State Police dispatchers fielded 2,952 total calls for service.

The majority of traffic crashes involve damaged vehicles and no injuries. However, three fatal crashes are confirmed as weather-related:

Shortly before 11 a.m. Monday, Virginia State Police Senior Trooper T. C. Smith responded to a single vehicle fatal crash on Route 614, Dennisville Road, approximately two-tenths of a mile north of Route 680, Maxey Lane, in Amelia County.  The crash occurred when the driver of a 1997 GMC Sonoma lost control of the vehicle and ran off the left side of the roadway striking an embankment.  The impact cased the pick-up truck to overturn onto the passenger side and strike a tree.  The 30 year-old male driver, who was not wearing his safety belt, died at the scene.  Speed and weather conditions are considered factors in the on-going crash investigation.

On March 3, 2014, at approximately 12:03 pm, Virginia State Police responded to a single-vehicle crash on Buckley Road, south of Liberty Road in Brunswick County. A 1997 Ford Expedition was traveling northbound on Buckley Road when the driver lost control, ran off the road, struck a tree, and came to rest down an embankment. The driver, April Singleton, suffered non-life threatening injuries. The passenger, Sarah Singleton, 35, of Warfield, Va., died at the scene. The driver, April Singleton, 31, of Brunswick, Va., was charged with reckless driving.

At approximately 12:15 p.m. Monday, Virginia State Police Trooper J.T. Murdoch responded to a two-vehicle crash in Campbell County. The crash occurred in the 5800 block of Village Highway. A 2002 Chevrolet Cavalier was eastbound on Village Highway when the driver lost control and spun backwards into the westbound lane where it was struck by a 2003 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck. The driver of the Cavalier, Mika T. Leclerc, 18, of Rustburg, Va., died at the scene. She was wearing a seat belt. The driver of the Dodge pickup truck, a 52-year-old Appomattox man, was not injured in the crash.

In addition, motorists are advised to be extra attentive to the emergency responders working on Virginia’s highways at crash scenes. In Augusta County at about 4:30 p.m. Monday, a Virginia State Police trooper was struck while investigating a traffic crash on Interstate 81. Trooper G.W. Clifton was seated in his vehicle at the scene of the traffic crash in the northbound lanes of I-81 at the 212 mile marker when a 1997 Honda Accord rear-ended the trooper’s patrol car. The patrol car had its emergency lights activated at the time of the crash. Trooper Clifton suffered minor injuries and was transported to Augusta Medical Center as a precautionary measure. The driver of the Honda, Gabrielle Harney, 19, of Unicoi, Tenn., was not injured in the crash and was charged with reckless driving. The Honda was traveling too fast for road conditions, which were partially snow-covered at the site of the crash. Drivers are reminded, too, of Virginia’s “Move Over” law - which requires drivers to change to another travel lane or, when not able to, to cautiously pass emergency personnel stopped on the side of the road. State law includes highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights.

The Winter Storm Warning remained in effect until Midnight last night.

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Winter Weather Coming Our Way...Again

From the National Weahter Service-

...WINTER STORM WARNING IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM MONDAY TO MIDNIGHT EST MONDAY NIGHT...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN WAKEFIELD HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WARNING FOR SNOW AND SLEET...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM 9 AM MONDAY TO MIDNIGHT EST MONDAY NIGHT. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. URGENT - WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE

* ACCUMULATIONS: 2 TO 4 INCHES OF SNOW AND SLEET ALONG WITH A LIGHT ICE ACCUMULATION.

* TEMPERATURES: STARTING IN THE UPPER 30S TO LOWER 40S MONDAY MORNING...FALLING TO THE MID AND UPPER 20S IN THE AFTERNOON.

* WINDS: NORTH INCREASING TO 10 TO 20 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 30 MPH INLAND...AND INCREASING TO 20 TO 25 MPH WITH GUSTS TO 35 TO 40 MPH NEAR THE COAST.

* TIMING: LATE MONDAY MORNING THROUGH MONDAY EVENING.

* IMPACTS: RAIN WILL TRANSITION TO A BRIEF WINTRY MIXTURE OF   SNOW...SLEET AND FREEZING RAIN BY LATE MONDAY MORNING. THE   WINTRY MIX WILL BECOME PRIMARILY SNOW AND SLEET DURING THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING HOURS. HAZARDOUS TRAVEL RESULTING FROM ICY  THEN SNOW COVERED ROADS IS EXPECTED BY LATE MORNING  MONDAY...WHICH WILL THEN CONTINUE THROUGH THE AFTERNOON AND EVENING HOURS.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS...

A WINTER STORM WARNING MEANS SIGNIFICANT AMOUNTS OF SNOW, SLEET AND ICE ARE EXPECTED OR OCCURRING. STRONG WINDS ARE ALSO POSSIBLE. THIS WILL MAKE TRAVEL VERY HAZARDOUS OR IMPOSSIBLE.

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Sign up now for March 11 Statewide Tornado Drill

More than 391,000 have registered for annual safety exercise

RICHMOND, Va. – To help residents of Virginia practice tornado safety, a Statewide Tornado Drill will be held Tuesday, March 11, at 9:45 a.m. So far, more than 391,000 people have registered for the drill.

Registration for the tornado drill is not necessary, but people can learn more and show their support by signing up at www.ReadyVirginia.gov. Everyone in Virginia can participate, including businesses and organizations, schools and colleges, and families and individuals. 

“It’s vitally important to know what to do when a tornado warning is issued for your area. The Statewide Tornado Drill gives everyone an opportunity to practice,” said Brett Burdick, acting state coordinator of emergency management. “Knowing what to do can save your life.”

The annual drill is a joint effort of the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the National Weather Service.

“Tornadoes in Virginia don’t have a season. In fact, three tornadoes hit southeast Virginia Jan. 11,” said Bill Sammler, NWS warning coordination meteorologist. “Tornadoes are possible in Virginia any time of year.  Every tornado warning should be taken very seriously, and if a warning is issued for your area, then you need to take cover.” 

To start the tornado drill, at 9:45 a.m. March 11 the NWS will send a test tornado warning that will trigger a tone alert and broadcast message on NOAA Weather Radio. The message will be picked up by TV and radio broadcasts, simulating what listeners will hear during an actual tornado warning. 

When the test tornado warning is sounded, people should move as quickly as possible to a safe area in a sturdy building. Safe areas are basements and interior rooms on the lowest level of a building such as bathrooms, closets or hallways. In choosing a safe area, stay away from windows. Once in the safe area, people should crouch down or sit on the floor facing down, and cover heads with hands. 

In case of widespread inclement weather March 11, the Statewide Tornado Drill will be held March 13.

“If you don’t have a NOAA Weather Radio, then make a point now to get one,” said Sammler.  “One of the fastest ways for people to get a tornado warning is by Weather Radio. With a Weather Radio, you get information directly from the nearest National Weather Service office.  When we issue a tornado warning, the Weather Radio sounds an alarm or flashes lights and then gives information on where the storm is, which way it’s moving, and telling people in its path to take cover. This radio could be a lifesaver.”

NOAA Weather Radios with SAME alerts that target warnings to specific areas of the state are available at electronics and sporting goods stores, discount and department stores, and online.  They come in battery-powered models, and many also have AM/FM bands. A special needs NOAA Weather Radio is available as well. The special-needs NOAA Weather Radio can warn deaf and hard-of-hearing persons of hazardous conditions, giving them around-the-clock, up-to-the-minute weather information.

For help in conducting a tornado drill and to register for the statewide drill, go to www.ReadyVirginia.gov

Here’s a look back at tornadoes in Virginia during 2013:

  • 5 tornadoes were recorded (4 EFO and 1 EF1).
  • There were no reported injuries.
  • Property damage was nearly $72,000.
  • One tornado occurred in April and four struck in June.

During 2012:

  • 11 tornadoes were recorded (8 EFO and 3 EF1).
  • There were no deaths, but six people were injured.
  • Property damage totaled $3 million.
  • The highest number of tornados occurred in June (6).

During 2011:

  • 51 tornadoes hit, the second highest number on record (87 struck in 2004).
  • In April, 10 people died and more than 100 were injured.
  • Most tornadoes occurred during April, but tornadoes also were recorded in March, May, August, September, October and November.
  • In April, 212 homes and 17 businesses were destroyed; more than 1,050 homes and businesses were damaged.
  • Nearly every part of Virginia experienced tornadoes, including mountain areas.
  • One-third of the tornadoes struck at night when people were asleep.

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Two Virginians Die in Weather Related Crashes

From 4 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 12) through 8 p.m. Thursday (Feb.13), Virginia State Police state police emergency dispatch centers fielded 5,220 calls for service. During that same period, state troopers responded to 1,358 traffic crashes and 1,417 disabled vehicles across the Commonwealth.

The majority of crashes investigated by state police continue to only involve damage to vehicles and no injuries. However, there have been two storm-related fatal traffic crashes. The first occurred Wednesday in Halifax County and claimed the life of a local man. The second fatal crash occurred earlyThursday morning in Loudoun County and claimed the life of a Vienna, Va., man.

Virginians are still advised to stay off the roads overnight until conditions improve. Virginians are also advised not to call 911 or #77 on a cell phone for road conditions. Emergency lines must be kept open for real emergencies requiring police, fire, and/or medical response. To obtain information about road conditions (and this applies to media, too), please call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org.

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VIRGINIA STATE POLICE URGE SAFETY WITH IMPENDING WINTER WEATHER

RICHMOND – As the Virginia State Police prepares for the impending snow storm, Virginians are encouraged to get ready and plan ahead, too. Forecasts are currently calling for regions of the Commonwealth to get anywhere from four inches to a foot of snow between Wednesday (Feb. 12, 2014) and Thursday (Feb. 13, 2014).

Virginia State Police will have all available troopers and supervisors working in advance of and the duration of the storm as it makes its way into the Commonwealth. To prevent unnecessary traffic crashes from occurring on Virginia’s highways during the storm, state police advises residents to postpone travel plans and avoid driving, when possible.

“This storm has the potential to significantly, adversely impact the safety of motorists on our highways,” said Colonel W. Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police Superintendent. “We encourage Virginians to plan now so they are not caught out in the storm and put themselves and others at risk.”

If having to travel during the storm, drivers are reminded to do the following:

·  Use headlights. Increasing your visibility helps you to avoid slick and dangerous spots on the road, as well as helps other drivers see you better.

·  Slow your speed. Though state police works closely with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to identify problem areas on Virginia’s highways during a snow storm, drivers still must drive for conditions. Slowing your speed gives you more time to safely react and avoid a crash. Drive your vehicle based on your ability to properly maintain control of your vehicle.

·  Don’t tailgate. You need increased stopping distance on slick road surfaces. Give yourself more space between vehicles traveling ahead of you in order to avoid rear end collisions.

·  Buckle Up. Most crashes that occur during winter weather are caused by vehicles sliding into guardrails, off the road or other vehicles. Wearing your seat belt protects you from being thrown around the inside of your vehicle and suffering serious injury in a crash.

·  Check Your Vehicle. Make sure your vehicle is in good working order for the conditions. Fill up the tank in advance. Check windshield wipers, windshield wiper fluid, tire tread, battery life, etc.

·  Don’t leave home without a window scraper, blanket, bottled water, snack, cell phone charger and flashlight.

For the latest in road conditions and updates, please call 511 on a cell phone or go online to the VDOT Virginia Traffic Information Website at www.511virginia.org.

Virginians are advised to only call 911 or #77 on a cell phone in case of emergency. It is essential to keep emergency dispatch lines open for those in serious need of police, fire or medical response.

Statistics from during the storm

From 4 p.m. through 8 p.m. Wednesday (Feb. 12), Virginia State Police state police emergency dispatch centers have fielded 890 calls for service. Troopers have responded to 342 traffic crashes and 134 disabled vehicles across the Commonwealth. As of 8 p.m., there were 140 active crashes being worked by troopers statewide.

There were two traffic fatalities Wednesday afternoon. The one in Spotsylvania County worked by state police was not weather-related. That crash claimed the life of a 21-year-old Fredericksburg man when his vehicle ran off the road and rear-ended a disabled truck on the right northbound shoulder of I-95.

The fatal crash in Halifax County was weather-related. That crash occurred at 2:38 p.m. on Route 501 and claimed the life of a 55-year-old Nathalie man when his car was hit head-on by another vehicle…and his wife was sent to the hospital with serious injuries.

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Prepare For More Winter Weather

Brace for another round of winter weather today, tomorrow and Thursday. In an e-mail message from Ken Ryals, Emporia's Emergency Services Coordinator, people were told to expect "Snow Potential of 4 to 6 inches “Plus,” from Tuesday through Thursday."  Ryals' message was followed closely by a Winter Storm Warning from the National Weather Service in Wakefield.  Everything from Greensville County eastward, including Virginia's Eastern Shore, is included in the warning.  Brunswick and Mecklenburg Counties are under a Winter Weather Advisory.

The NWS posting predicts 3-5 inches of snow, with the heaviest coming on Tuesday evening.  Citizens are advised by the NWS to avoid travel if at all possible and to use extreme caution if driving becomes necessary.

FORECAST UPDATE (1/28/14, 10:30 a.m.)

From Ken Ryals: "Still forecasting 4 to 6 inches Snow accumulation, however some forecasters in North Carolina think we in Emporia can get more than that amount !! Forecasts indicate this should be a dry fluffy snow which will allow for quick accumulation, should begin late afternoon/early evening today and continue into Wednesday afternoon. Periods of moderate to heavy snowfall are expected to occur overnight. In addition, forecasts call for 15-25 mph winds with higher gusts. Low tonight of around 16 degrees with a high of 28 on Wednesday,  it’s going to be cold!  I would prepare for Snow this evening and tomorrow morning."

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WINTER WEATHER WARNING

The National Weather Service in Wakefield has issued a WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY from 1:00 this afternoon untin Midnight tomorrow. 

We are expecting between 1-4 inches of snow followed by much colder temperatures with wind chills as cold as 5 degrees below zero.  Please use caution driving and dress appropriately when going outside. 

More information can be found on the National Weather Service website HERE

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