The City of Portsmouth’s Office of Emergency Management and Department of Public Works are continuing to monitor the track of the upcoming winter storm that is expected in Virginia this weekend and staff are ready for duty should the storm track shift to our area.
Governor Ralph Northam, in coordination with Governor-Elect Glenn Youngkin, has declared a State of Emergency for Virginia as some regions are expected to have major impacts. Please continue to monitor the forecast and continue to maintain situational awareness. Also, please exercise increased safety around the home due to the current forecast for our area which includes wind gusts, possible snow flurries, and possible minor to moderate flooding from bands of heavy rain and/or tides. With all inclement weather events, please limit non-essential travel and exercise extreme caution if you must travel. Remember to pack your winter weather emergency kit in your vehicle. To make sure that you are prepared for winter weather events, visit https://www.vaemergency.gov/threats/winter-weather/ or https://www.ready.gov/winter-weather.
INFORMATION FROM VDOT: Please see the news release below from VDOT on the agency’s preparations for Hampton Roads and the very important safety reminders for motorists.
|SUFFOLK—As winter weather approaches the region, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Hampton Roads District has begun preparations to pre-treat roads in advance of the storm. VDOT is urging motorists to limit nonessential travel and exercise extreme caution if travel is unavoidable. Motorists should continue to monitor changing weather and road conditions throughout the duration of the inclement weather.|
This morning, VDOT crews mobilized and began pre-treatment activities on the district’s interstates and primary roads. Crews have already gathered material and loaded equipment to address potential road impacts. Additional equipment loaded with plows and spreaders stands ready to address varying road conditions that may present throughout the length of the storm. With the possibility of high winds, crews are on standby to assist with downed trees, branches and debris that may fall across the roads.
Crews will work in shifts as part of 24-hour operations to clear and treat the interstate and state-maintained roadways as needed. VDOT maintains all interstates, major state-maintained primary routes, and county roads in Hampton Roads. Individual municipalities maintain their own primary and secondary routes.
Winter weather preparations across the state are underway for interstates and state-maintained roads. District-specific travel alerts and storm information can be found at https://www.virginiadot.org/newsroom/news_from_vdot.asp
VDOT will continue to monitor road surfaces as temperatures and conditions change throughout the weekend.
If travel is necessary:
· Visit www.511Virginia.org for the latest road conditions and closures before traveling. If possible, avoid travel until precipitation stops and road conditions improve.
· Give crews time and space to treat roads.
· If you must travel during adverse weather conditions:
· Allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
· Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind the vehicle ahead of you.
· Brake very lightly to keep your tires from slipping on pavement.
· Do not pass snowplows.
· Keep an emergency winter weather kit in your vehicle which includes food, water, first aid materials, tools and blankets in the event of a breakdown or stoppage.
· Free 511 Virginia Tools — Get the latest traffic conditions before traveling by calling 511, or go to www.511virginia.org. You also can download Virginia’s free 511 mobile app at https://www.virginiadot.org/travel/511.asp#app.
· 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) — Report road hazards or ask road-related questions at VDOT’s 24-hour Customer Service Center by calling this statewide toll-free number.
· Twitter — Follow us @VaDOTHR and @511hamptonroads for the latest traffic updates during a storm.
· WAZE – VDOT recently partnered with Waze to add a new feature to the navigation software app that allows users to report, in real-time during winter weather, when a road has not been plowed. It will also inform travelers when they are approaching a road that has been identified by other drivers as unplowed.
For more winter driving information, please visit www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp.
|VDOT crews pretreating interstates in advance of winter storm.|