PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s going to messy on the roads Thursday morning as snow and a wintry mix fall across the region.
Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler says snow shouldn’t stick to the road at first (2 a.m. to about 5 a.m.) due to earlier wintry mix and surface temperatures above freezing, but accumulation could occur after that point around the morning commute. Hampton Roads isn’t expected to see more than an inch of snow.
The heaviest snow will be seen up until 6 a.m. at the latest, then it will be mostly light snow and flurries as the storm moves away.
Road conditions could be slick in the morning, especially on the bridges. There could be a few towns in North Carolina that see 3 inches of snow by Thursday morning.
VDOT and local public works crews are prepping for slick roads.
VDOT says crews were set to begin pretreating roads by spreading brine across the local interstates to prevent ice. There will be some rain tonight into tomorrow morning, which can wash away that mixture, but VDOT says they believe the wintry mix/snow will start early enough for the brine to still be effective.
Crews are set to work around the clock to monitor and treat roads as needed.
Due to the impending winter weather, several schools and city services have announced they will be closed or have a delayed opening Thursday.
VDOT says it currently has 467 pieces of equipment for snow and ice-control as part of its $8.4 million snow budget. That includes 24,341 tons of salt and 168,400 gallons of salt brine. That supply is still fully stocked due to the lack of winter weather so far.
You can report road hazards and ask questions with VDOT’s 24-hour line at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623.
Local cities are also preparing. Hampton is pre-treating roads and has more than 200 employees ready to work as needed, as part of the winter storm response team. Norfolk and Portsmouth were not planning on pretreating roads. Norfolk said it has eight salt trucks and other crews on standby starting Wednesday night into Thursday morning, monitoring bridges and intersections. Portsmouth said it had its equipment loaded and ready to go if needed.
Public Works crews in Chesapeake were out on Wednesday applying brine pre-treatment to area bridges, such as the Dominion Blvd Veterans Bridge.
According to Drew Lankford with Virginia Beach Public Works, crews were out on Wednesday pre-treating bridges and overpasses. Overnight, from 10 p.m. until 8 a.m., he said the city with have eight vehicles on standby.
The City of Newport News started pre-treating bridges and overpasses Tuesday with brine and continued this on Wednesday. An overnight crew will be prepared to respond with additional brine and/or spreading salt/sand if needed. An official said they have plenty of supplies. The city has four brine units working and sand spreaders mounted on nine trucks.
Suffolk Public Works crews began loading trucks at noon Wednesday for brining operations. The city has 24 pieces of equipment, including snow plows and spreaders, ready if needed.
Follow WAVY’s Madison Glassman on Twitter for the latest traffic updates Thursday morning.
Virginia State Police provided the following safety tips for driving in winter weather conditions:
- Slow Your Speed. Icy or wet surfaces are slick and can cause a driver going too fast for conditions to lose control.
- Stay Alert. Avoiding distractions – phone, radio, food, etc. – and focusing strictly on your role as a driver and on the other vehicles around you significantly increase your chances of avoiding a crash. Multi-tasking while driving puts you and others at risk.
- Buckle Up. Drivers and passengers should always buckle up for safety. If you lose control on a slick roadway and spin out, the seat belt holds you in place and will likely save your life.
- 511 for Road Conditions. Needing to know if it’s safe to travel? Call 511 or visit www.511virginia.org or download the 511 App. Only call 911 if it’s an emergency and not for road conditions.