SALEM – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is mobilizing for a major winter storm that is expected to bring significant snow mixed with freezing rain and sleet to western Virginia. Residents are asked to monitor weather forecasts, plan ahead and avoid nonessential travel during winter weather.
Heavy snowfall is expected along the interstate 81 and 77 corridors. Equipment operators completed pre-treating interstates, primary routes and high-volume secondary roads throughout western Virginia on Friday. This region of Virginia has terrain with steep grades that can increase the hazardous nature of travel, particularly for trucks, during a heavy snow or ice event. Therefore, trucks should consider avoiding travel on I-81 in Virginia on Sunday going into Monday.
VDOT offers the following reminders:
- Significant snow/ice accumulation is expected, so travel conditions will deteriorate starting Sunday and continuing into Monday.
- Snowplow operators will first work on interstates and primary roads, so secondary roads and neighborhood streets will become covered in deep snow before crews will plow them.
- To not slow down or hinder snow removal operations, residents are asked not to park vehicles in streets or cul-de-sacs or abandon them in roadways.
- Road conditions are available at www.511Virginia.org. VDOT’s Customer Service Center can be reached by calling 1-800-367-7623 or at my.vdot.virginia.gov. Report emergencies to 911.
- When snow reaches two inches or more, snowplows can be tracked at http://vdotplows.org.
VDOT is asking people to avoid nonessential travel. For those who must drive, be prepared with essential items.
- Keep at least a half tank of gas in the vehicle
- Keep a blanket in the vehicle
- Keep winter clothing in the vehicle: winter coat, heavy shoes or boots, gloves and a hat
- A snow shovel and a bag of sand or cat litter
- Jumper cables, a flashlight and batteries, ice scraper, phone charger and a map (in case your phone battery goes dead)
- Non-perishable snacks and water
The Salem District includes the counties of Bedford, Botetourt, Carroll, Craig, Floyd, Franklin, Giles, Henry, Montgomery, Patrick, Pulaski, and Roanoke.