RICHMOND, Va. -- Governor Ralph Northam declared a State of Emergency on Wednesday night ahead of a predicted second bout of winter weather.
Monday's winter storm left thousands without power and thousands of others stranded on Interstate 95 for hours because of disabled vehicles and icy roads.
The next winter storm is expected to arrive Thursday evening into Friday morning. In a statement, Northam said the problems resulting from Monday's winter weather will exacerbate the impacts of the coming storm.
“Having two bouts of snow and icy weather back to back makes it more likely communities will need additional help as they continue to recover from the first round of tree-snapping wet snow and ice that we saw Monday,” Governor Northam said. “While we typically have ample resources for snowstorms, these back-to-back events will generate landmark winter weather that requires extra flexibility. I am grateful to the hundreds of first responders and emergency personnel who continue to work around the clock to keep Virginians safe.”
Northam's emergency declaration has authorized the Virginia National Guard to bring personnel on state active duty to support authorities for possible severe winter weather. The following statement was shared on behalf of the Virginia National Guard:
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management requested the VNG provide debris reduction teams capable of clearing roads of fallen trees.
A group of approximately 20 Soldiers with chain saws will muster in the Southwest Virginia area by tomorrow morning, and they will be able to move through the area as needed in tactical trucks capable of navigating through heavy snow. A group of approximately 20 Airmen with chain saws will muster in the Virginia Beach area, and they will also have trucks capable of navigating through heavy snow and will be prepared to provide assistance in the Central Virginia area.
Additional Virginia Army National Guard, Virginia Air National Guard and Virginia Defense Force personnel will be on duty in the Richmond area providing logistics, administrative and operations center support to the personnel in the field.
All personnel were alerted Wednesday evening and are scheduled to be staged and ready for duty by noon on Thursday.
During domestic operations, the VNG receives missions from VDEM and responds as part of a multi-agency team with other state and local agencies to provide support capabilities requests by Virginia communities.
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