HAMPTON ROADS (WAVY) — With more snow likely coming to the area, Hampton Roads localities and other agencies are getting ready to respond.
WAVY Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson said Friday evening that Hampton Roads could see 1 to 3 inches of snow Sunday morning, but a drastic increase in the temperature could make it melt away quickly.
Meanwhile, Dominion Energy and the Virginia Department of Transportation say they’re keeping a close eye on the forecast to make sure crews respond if there are power outages or road troubles.
Still, localities in Hampton Roads say they’re prepared just in case.
Here’s what we’ve heard from local officials so far. This post will be updated.
Public works will have a small crew working overnight on Saturday to monitor road conditions and treat bridges, overpasses, or any icy spots that may develop. The city is keeping an eye on the forecast and will call in more staff if conditions call for it.
Public works will be monitoring the weather forecast closely to determine what preparation would be appropriate. There are different treatment applications depending on the predicted weather. The Public works team will begin pretreating bridges, overpasses and primary roadways prior to any inclement freezing weather. There will also be teams ready to respond to any weather events.
Newport News plans to start pre-treating bridges and overpasses with brine Saturday morning. There will be a crew overnight Saturday into Sunday to respond with additional brine and/or spreading salt/sand, if needed. Crews are scheduled all day Sunday.
The city has four brine units working and sand spreaders mounted on nine trucks, as well as 10,000 gallons of brine on hand. The city can make more on-demand and 2,000 tons of salt/sand.
Stormwater will have a crew available to clear and apply salt at the Amtrak station through the weekend, in addition to their regular standby crews. They do not anticipate putting any more salt down at the Amtrak Station because the elevated platform and surrounding area is dry. They will continue to monitor the area.
Streets and bridges: The concern will be Sunday from 7-9 am, beginning with snow switching to rain the rest of the day. The plan is to have a brine crew with three trucks brining all bridges and major intersections, from 12 a.m. to 7 a.m.
On Friday, Public works was making sure that all equipment is fueled up and loaded with salt and sand. The current plan is to bring in staff most likely early Sunday morning.
Public works will continue monitoring the forecast over the weekend. On Saturday, they will start pre-treating bridges, overpasses, and our primary roadways with a brine solution in addition to the application of abrasives as needed. Other crews will also be out addressing various drainage issues. Staff will arrive for the midnight shift Saturday evening and will proceed with the noted efforts throughout the early morning and early afternoon hours. Accumulation of less than an inch of snow was noted, therefore no plows will be needed. Staff and equipment are on standby should the forecast change.
There are no special plans for preparations on Friday night.
On Saturday night from 10 p.m. to 8 a.m. Sunday, crews and trucks will be ready to go to treat areas. There are eight trucks total (five will have a salt and sand combination, three will contain brine for bridges and overpasses).
On Sunday morning, two trucks will begin at 10 a.m. to treat any problem areas or emergency calls.
Extra crews will be on-call if the forecast changes.
The City of Williamsburg will start pre-treating the main roads with brine on Saturday ahead of the storm.
Preparations from other agencies and departments:
- Snow and freezing rain has the potential to weigh down power lines and tree limbs, which could lead to outages.
- To ensure the fastest response, let Dominion know if you lose power. The fastest way to report or track an outage is using the mobile app or online at DominionEnergy.com. Customers can also call us at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357) to report an outage.
- Beware of downed power lines, and remember that they could be covered by snow. Assume they are energized and dangerous. Keep family members, neighbors and pets a minimum of 30 feet away and call Dominion right away at 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357). Choose the option to report a downed wire.
- If you have a generator, be sure it is fueled, tested, and properly connected before the severe weather arrives. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and always operate outdoors with good ventilation. Improper use of a generator could be life-threatening for customers and for line crews working to restore power.
- The forecast throughout the region is not uniform so plans will vary based upon temperature and precipitation expected for different areas in the district
- Trucks were prepping Friday for pretreatment with the 23% brine solution VDOT typically uses and will deploy tomorrow or early Sunday as needed (a reminder that the brine solution is ineffective if rain falls prior to snow, as it washes the solution away before it can become effective)
- Crews are out today reviewing typical hot spots in the area so that activity can be planned accordingly
- Crews will be on standby early Sunday (as early as 12 a.m. Sunday) through Sunday ready to deploy when and where needed
- VDOT encourages citizens to report any ice or problem areas to 1-800-FOR-ROAD so that they can resolve the issue
Virginia State Police
- Slow Your Speed. Whether the roads are icy or just wet, surfaces are still 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 yourself and others at risk. Also be alert to changing road conditions and share the road responsibly with all types of vehicles.
- 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? Then 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.