NewsLocal News

Actions

Snow, ice cover roads from Central to Coastal Virginia

Road Snow Ice Conditions.png
Posted at 1:09 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 13:11:19-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- Roads across the Commonwealth were covered in snow and ice Friday morning, leading many citizens to decide to stay off them entirely, or limit their time behind the wheel.

VDOT said they had crews working all morning clearing interstates first, followed by primary and secondary roads, then neighborhoods.

“Overall most of the roads are in minor condition right now through most of the district. The south area, southern most counties in our district are in a little bit better shape," said Sara Owens with

VDOT Richmond. "Just they didn't get quite as much precipitation as the other counties did."

Meteorologists say another system will bring more wintry weather on Saturday. Some scattered light, freezing rain is possible in the morning, with periods of freezing rain likely Saturday afternoon and evening.

VDOT said they’re continuing to monitor the roads throughout Friday night and into the weekend. They encourage drivers to look out for icy spots if you have to go out, but encourage drivers to stay home.

Some Richmond residents, like Nancy Rees, decided to take in the beauty of the winter weather by foot.

"I had to be careful where I put my feet, but it was very enjoyable," Rees said. She lives around the corner from Bryan Park and decided to take her dogs for a walk in the snow.

"I think the funnest thing to do is try to walk where no one else has treaded before and hear the crunch of the snow," she said.

She only drove a short distance to get to the park, and she said some roads were still untouched.

“Our neighborhood, there was a little bit of ice," Rees said. "Not too much, but just a little, but the roads were not clear of snow or ice.”

If you do have to be on the road this weekend, AAA provides the following safe driving tips for drivers:

  • Watch for black ice. Although it is mostly invisible, pavement with black ice will be a little darker and duller than the rest of the road surface.
  • Use extra caution on bridges and overpasses. Bridges and overpasses freeze first and melt last. Therefore, use extra caution as the roadway leading up to the bridge may appear fine but the bridge itself could be a sheet of ice.
  • Travel gently. Drive, turn, and brake slowly. Adjust your speed to the road conditions and leave yourself plenty of room to stop. You should allow at least three times more space than usual between you and the car in front of you.
  • Be extra aware of the traffic ahead. If you see brake lights, fish tailing cars, sideways cars or emergency flashers, slow down even more.
  • Control the skid. If you are approaching a patch of ice, brake during your approach. Applying pressure to your brakes while on ice will only throw you into a skid. In the event you find your car is skidding, ease off of the accelerator or brake, and steer in the direction you want the front of the car to go.
  • If your car doesn’t have anti-lock brakes, you need to use the following threshold braking technique: Squeeze the brake pedal with your toes, and, when you feel the wheels begin to lock, ease off the pressure slightly and hold it there.
  • Guard against SUV overconfidence. Four-wheel-drive vehicles are great for initial traction and avoiding getting stuck, but once they are moving, they have the same difficulty keeping control and stopping as other vehicles.
  • Never use cruise control. Cruise control is not recommended when ice is on the road as the driver should be in full control of the vehicle at every second.
  • Drive in cleared lanes. Changing lanes unnecessarily puts you at greater risk of hitting a patch of ice between lanes that may cause you to lose control of the vehicle.