RICHMOND, Va. (WAVY) — As a second weekend of snow and winter weather approached Hampton Roads, Governor Glenn Youngkin declared a state of emergency Thursday.

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“The key message for all Virginians is to stay aware of the weather conditions and to stay off the roads if possible,” said Governor Youngkin. “We have already started planning and mobilizing resources needed to protect the Commonwealth. We are very concerned with the forecasted impacts to our Eastern Shore region and have started pre-positioning resources to ensure a timely response to that area. The most important thing everyone can do to minimize the risks is to prepare yourself and your family.” 

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management said the Virginia National Guard is being deployed to the Eastern Shore ahead of the winter weather.

Officials say that the winter weather is expected to have significant impacts on travel conditions, as well as knock down trees and cause electrical outages. Tidal flooding is also expected in many areas.

Meteorologist Jeremey Wheeler says the storm will bring high wind gusts to the area. Wind speeds could be up to 40 mph at some points. He is forecasting 3-6 inches of snow across much of the southside, as well as 6-9 inches for the Eastern Shore.

Keep in mind, however, that the snowfall amounts are likely to change.

State officials are also urging the public to prepare their homes by:

  • Making sure your home is properly insulated
  • Checking the weather stripping around your windows and doors
  • Learning how to shut off water valves in case a pipe bursts
  • Having additional heat sources on hand in case of a power outages
  • Keeping a fire extinguisher accessible
  • Replacing the batteries in your carbon monoxide detector annually

Preparing cars is also a priority in case of emergency travel:

  • Batteries lose power as temperatures drop, be sure to have yours tested
  • Check your car’s antifreeze level
  • Have your radiator system serviced
  • Replace your car’s windshield wiper fluid with a wintertime mix
  • Proactively replace your car’s worn tires and wiper blades
  • To help with visibility, clean off your car entirely – including your trunk, roof, windows and headlights

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia State Police, Virginia Department of Transportation, and other necessary agencies have already begun to mobilize and prepare for the impact of the winter weather.

For real-time traffic conditions anywhere in the state, dial 5-1-1 or visit 511Virginia.org.