PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Virginia safety officials were urging residents and motorists on Sunday to use caution and stay at home ahead of the storms.
Winter weather hit much of Virginia, but in Hampton Roads, it was mostly rain and high winds rolling through that left behind power outages and minor flooding. 10 On Your Side kept an eye on several crashes that closed lanes on major highways Sunday evening.
At one point, a vehicle crash on westbound I-64 in Norfolk by the airport had all westbound lanes closed around 9:40 p.m.
As for power outages, Dominion Energy reported nearly 23,000 outages locally Sunday night. At one point, that included more than 1,600 customers in Norfolk’s East Ocean View community.
Dominion says crews worked all night to restore power, and all but about 4,000 customers had power back as of 7:45 a.m. Monday.
About 1,200 in Virginia Beach and 1,800 in Norfolk were still without power. Wind gusts were still expected to be an issue through Monday night.
WAVY-TV 10 Meteorologist Ricky Matthews warned Hampton Roads on Sunday morning the area will experience periods of rain, some locally heavy, through the day, with some of the heaviest rain in the late afternoon and evening.
Gusts of wind and heavy rain were responsible for much of the power outages.
“I think we’re ready,” said newly inaugurated Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin. “We’ve done a really good job getting prepared for this storm.”
Most of the governor’s attention was focused on the western parts of the commonwealth and bracing them for the snow. The Virginia National Guard currently has 75 personnel at multiple locations across the commonwealth ready to respond.
VDOT Hampton Roads has nearly 500 pieces of snow and ice control equipment, but none of it was needed on Sunday in the area. Governor Youngkin hinted at some assets being moved from the eastern portion of the state to be used in higher impacted areas.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management also requested debris reduction and high mobility transportation capabilities.
VDOT officials say crews will continue to monitor road surfaces and precipitation throughout Sunday night and are on standby to assist with downed trees, limbs, and debris for the duration of the event.
VDOT urges motorists to use caution and restrict nonessential travel as crews respond to the effects of the storm.
Motorists and pedestrians are reminded to avoid areas with downed power lines, trees and standing water.
Virginia State Police say they have responded to over 482 crashes and 486 disabled vehicles on Sunday alone. An estimated 7% of those have been in the Chesapeake division.
Depending on marine storm conditions, the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry may experience reductions in capacity and service outages. High winds have already forced the Currituck-Knotts Island ferry route and Bayview-Aurora ferry route to close for the day.
If travel is necessary:
- Visit www.511Virginia.org for the latest road conditions and closures before traveling. If possible, avoid travel until precipitation stops and road conditions improve.
- Give crews time and space to treat roads.
- 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 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.