Hampton Roads blanketed with snowfall, wind and chilly temps to remain

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PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Road conditions were still messy across Hampton Roads Thursday morning after snow and wintry mix fell overnight into the morning, though snowfall was set to finish up around 9 a.m.

Many streets saw covered roads with a layer of slush and water underneath from earlier rain/wintry mix. The ground temperatures had mostly been above freezing, so underlying ice was less of an issue during the day.

By Thursday night, the concern about some patches of ice were somewhat of an issue in slower-speed areas.

Just because the snow has melted, doesn’t mean you can be any less cautious, officials warned.

“What we’ve seen so far, you’re going to hit black ice it’s probably going to be on some of the side streets and in the neighborhoods,” said Drew Lankford with Virginia Beach Public Works.

Many schools and businesses also announced they would be closed or have a delayed opening because of the weather conditions. Some of those closures extended into Friday.

Closings and delays

Snowfall past an inch or two wasn’t expected, but some WAVY viewers reported as much as 3 inches in spots.

About 4 inches in Hickory area of Chesapeake (Via Jeffrey Brancheau)

While it had been more than 1,000 days since we last had a measurable snowfall in Hampton Roads, the ability to have fun out in it was far from lost.

10 On Your Side traveled around the region Thursday to see the impacts from the snow.


Elizabeth Vaughn, the senior public communications coordinator for the City of Chesapeake, said public works crews were on the roads as early as 2 a.m. Thursday salting the roads and checking on any problem areas. They spread more than 280 tons of salt, and at one point, 31 trucks were on the road throughout the city.

She said Chesapeake has a lot of overpasses and bridges that are first to freeze, so she’s warning drivers to be careful through Friday morning.

Even though it looks like it’s melted, she says they are expecting black ice in certain places.

“We’re going to be on the roads for as long as we need to today. Even throughout the night tonight, so just a word of caution, if you see a plow or salt spreader, reminder we’re not plowing because we didn’t get enough sand for that. But the salt spreader, you don’t want to be up close because it will be shooting salt out the back of the truck. Give them room let them work. Everybody just needs to be really slow today,” said Vaughn.

She said with many folks working from home, there have been fewer cars on the road in general, which is already keeping people safer.

But if you’re heading out Thursday or early tomorrow morning, keep a good distance between your car and others around you, she said.

Virginia Beach

By 6 p.m., the sun had set over Sandbridge and the moon had come out over the very windy and cold Atlantic Ocean.

The sun did a good job melting much of the snow away Thursday, but not before many people discovered why it’s troublesome.

Thursday afternoon, 10 On Your Side saw a car getting pulled out of a ditch at Seaboard Road where it meets with Princess Anne Road.The road there still had some snow on it by the afternoon.

A spokesperson with the city said cars were skidding into ditches, and that was the biggest problem they saw Thursday.

The problem could continue into Thursday night, officials warned.

To combat refreezing on the road, Virginia Beach said it would have crews out from 8 p.m. till 6 a.m. Friday morning to tackle those trouble spots.

Call 311 or 757-385-5000 if you a road problem that needs attention.


Meanwhile, by 5:30 p.m., most of the snow has melted away in Portsmouth.

There was some left on the grass, especially areas that were in the shade.

on Interstate 264 by the Downtown Tunnel, traffic was moving just fine and the roads looked clear — great news for people leaving for their afternoon commute.

Some parts of the city saw a solid accumulation of snow before it melted away. There were about two inches in the Waterview section of the city. Before the melt, there was some slush on the road, and snow stuck to tree branches.

The snow stopped in Portsmouth at about 9 a.m. Thursday morning.

Elizabeth City

Heading south on Highway 17 outside Elizabeth City, 10 On Your Side a door of a Dodge Charger that had been broken off of the car.

“The Dodge Charger heading east on U.S. 158. The light turned green, and he was taking a left on 17,” said North Carolina State Highway Patrolman Philip Logsdon. 

About that time, an 18-wheel container truck hauling chemicals T-boned the Dodge Charger.

“I had three different witnesses who gave written statements that the tractor-trailer ran the stoplight,” Trooper Logsdon continued.  

That driver was charged with running a red light, and the Dodge driver taken to a hospital

Logsdon can’t say the crash was weather-related, but he was surprised by the amount of snowfall while out on patrol during this first snow of 2021. 

“It was definitely more than what I expected this early in the snow year, but we’ve only had two calls, this one and another,” Logsdon added.  

Down the road, we found little Mariah dancing in the snow; a snow-dancer and snowman-maker.

“We made a snowman, and we went over and got rocks for the eyes, a carrot from the kitchen for a nose, and lines in the snow for his mouth,” the 6-year-old said. 

North Carolina Schools were canceled Thursday, and Mariah is not OK with that.

“How excited am I not to be in school? Not excited at all. I’ve been out of school so much I almost cried yesterday. I wanted to be at school, but now I’m happy because I could play in the snow and make a snowman.” 

Mariah’s street lost power about the time snow rolled in around 5 a.m.

“The power just went out. I looked outside prior to that, and the roads were all messed up. The snow hit, and I had called in the power outage this morning. It was out for about two hours,” Her mother, Angel Lamb, said.

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