NewsLocal News

Actions

Many routes are impassable because of fallen trees, VDOT officials warn

Meteorologists: More areas of freezing rain, drizzle
vsptreedown.jpg
Posted at 10:05 AM, Feb 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-14 00:21:45-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) are urging folks to stay off the roads as an ice storm warning remains in effect for much of the area through Sunday at 10 a.m.

"While the steadiest precipitation is exiting the area, there will be more areas of freezing rain and drizzle tonight, with a few areas of snow and sleet mixed in well north and west of Richmond," Meteorologist Mike Goldberg said. "With temperatures dipping back below the freezing mark, everything will freeze up and icy conditions will exist on area roads, particularly bridges, overpasses and secondary roads. Please stay home if you can, avoiding any unnecessary travel."

Troopers were working 29 crashes and 5 disabled vehicles across the state at 9 p.m.

"The majority of those crashes involve only damage to vehicles, as vehicles slide off the slick roadways into ditches, guardrails, and fallen trees," officials said.

Troopers had been called to 366 crashes and 195 disabled vehicles across the Commonwealth since midnight as of 9 p.m. Saturday, according to Virginia State Police.

  • Richmond Division: 41 Disabled Vehicles & 77 Traffic Crashes
  • Culpeper Division: 10 Disabled Vehicles & 47 Traffic Crashes
  • Appomattox Division: 14 Disabled Vehicles & 45 Traffic Crashes
  • Wytheville Division: 15 Disabled Vehicles & 13 Traffic Crashes
  • Chesapeake Division: 51 Disabled Vehicles & 60 Traffic Crashes
  • Salem Division: 22 Disabled Vehicles & 31 Traffic Crashes
  • Fairfax Division: 42 Disabled Vehicles & 93 Traffic Crashes

Thankfully, officials said there have been no fatal crashes.

Police urged folks to stay home because "it's not worth the risk or your life."

VDOT crews continue to treat slick spots with salt to melt icy patches and sand to improve traction, but officials warned that while "although road conditions in the district may be clear in many locations, many routes are impassable due to fallen trees and the night ahead may be hazardous."

"More fallen trees and power lines due to heavy ice accumulation cannot be ruled out overnight either," VDOT officials said. "Coordination will continue in the days ahead to remove tree debris and power lines from travel lanes. Crews will first focus on primary routes and high volume secondary routes, working closely with emergency services to restore access to other roads."

Officials said urged drivers to postpone nonessential travel until the storm ends since "conditions can change rapidly with even slight variations in air temperatures."

"Pavement that is wet is likely to freeze overnight, especially in susceptible areas including overpasses, bridges, shaded areas, turns, curves and ramps," officials said. "Staying home and off the roads is the safest option until conditions improve."

VDOT officials warned folks who do have to drive to "pay close attention to local forecasts, slow down and leave plenty of space between vehicles."

Report hazardous road conditions by calling 800-367-7623 (FOR-ROAD) or visiting https://my.vdot.virginia.gov