Stay off roads for first two hours of snowfall, VDOT urges

Posted at 12:23 AM, Jan 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-21 00:23:06-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR)--As snow approaches the region, a Virginia Department of Transportation spokeswoman is urging drivers to stay off the roads if possible on Tuesday, especially during the first two hours of the storm.

“Most of the traffic accidents that happen occur in the first two hours of a winter storm so we certainly advise them to avoid travel during those times if they can,” Lindsay LeGrand, VDOT spokeswoman, said.

CBS6 Storm Team Chief Meteorologist Zach Daniel expects those first two hours to happen between one and three o’clock on Tuesday, and drivers could see periods of fairly heavy snowfall.

“Snow fall rates at times could be up to an inch per hour,” Daniel said.

VDOT crews are pretreating the roads overnight using salt water that has a very high concentration of sodium.

When the first snowflakes start to fall, crews will switch over to pure salt for the interstates, and a mixture of sand and salt for side streets.

“We focus on interstates and primary roads first just to make sure our emergency vehicles can get where they need to go...essential personnel can get where they need to go as well,” LeGrand said.

In other words, road crews cannot be everywhere at once, so do not expect your neighborhood street to be plowed or salted immediately.

“Our overall goal is to have the roads passable within 48 hours once the storm ends,” LeGrand said.

Zach has forecasted that the storm could last for several hours.

“This is going to be a longer duration event where we`re going to probably see accumulating snow for four, six, even eight hours in some cases,” Zach said.

VDOT is responsible for clearing most roads, except for those located inside city and town limits, for example, the City of Richmond and the Town of Ashland.

Also to note, Henrico County has its own snow removal services for their smaller roads.

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