Irene causing traffic problems statewide - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

UPDATE: Irene causing traffic problems statewide

Posted: Updated:

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - As Hurricane Irene takes aim at the New England states, she leaves behind a large number of downed trees, downed power lines and flooded roads in central Virginia. 

As of 7 p.m., VDOT reported that 23 primary and 204 secondary roads remain closed throughout the state. Virginia counties with the most roads closed are Brunswick, Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Fairfax, Hanover, Richmond and Surry. All bridges, tunnels and interstates that were closed during the last 48 hours have reopened. VDOT successfully completed tests lifts at all bridges in the Hampton Roads area today.  

As soon as the storm exited and conditions allowed, VDOT crews and contractors began assessing damage, and removing trees and debris from roadways. Traffic signal crews have been busy throughout the day resetting signals as power was restored. If a traffic signal is out, drivers are advised to treat the intersection as a four-way stop.

After the Jamestown Scotland Ferry operation was suspended on Friday, the ferry fleet was transported to safe harbor during the storm.  Limited operations to include the use of one ferry boat during daylight hours only will resume tomorrow.  VDOT expects to have all ferries in operation on Tuesday. The U.S. Coast Guard daylight hour restrictions begin 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset. For an update on ferry operations, call 800-VAFERRY.

Motorists are encouraged to stay at home the remainder of today so that emergency crews can continue their efforts to ensure roads are safe for travel. VDOT is working in partnership with utility companies and emergency responders to access the affected areas and remove obstructions as quickly as possible to restore all travel lanes to service.

VDOT's Customer Service Center is open 24 hours a day to answer questions and take reports of road debris, downed trees, traffic signal repair requests, or other roadway hazards at 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623).

Amtrak will operate most Northeast Regional trains between Philadelphia and Washington starting on Monday, Aug. 29.  All Amtrak service between Boston and Philadelphia is canceled due to the extensive flooding, debris on tracks, and power issues as a result of Hurricane Irene.  In addition, all Acela Express service between Boston and Washington is canceled.

Amtrak crews continue to inspect and make repairs to the infrastructure along the Northeast Corridor. 

 As of 7 p.m., the following trains with origination dates of Monday, Aug. 29 will operate: 

  • Most Northeast Regional trains between Washington and Philadelphia
  • Northeast Regional train 171 will operate Philadelphia to Lynchburg
  • Maple Leaf (Washington - Toronto) will operate between Toronto and Niagara Falls only 
  • Capitol Limited Train 29 and 30 (Chicago – Washington)
  • Piedmont Trains 73, 74, 75, 76 (Charlotte – Raleigh)
  • Carolinian Trains 79 and 80 will operate between Charlotte and Raleigh only
  • Silver Star Trains 91 and 92 will operate between Jacksonville and Miami only

As of 7 p.m., the following cancellations have been made for origination dates of Monday, Aug. 29: 

  • Acela Express
  • Northeast Regional trains between Boston and Philadelphia
  • Northeast Regional trains between Washington and Newport News
  • Keystone Service canceled through  the morning
  • Empire Service (New York - Albany)
  • Maple Leaf (Washington - Toronto) canceled between Washington and Buffalo; trains will operate between Toronto and Niagara Falls 
  • Downeaster (Portland - Boston)
  • Springfield Shuttles  
  • Crescent Trains 19 and 20 (New York – New Orleans)
  • Pennsylvanian Trains 42 and 43 (Pittsburgh – New York)
  • Lake Shore Limited Trains 48, 49, 448 and 449 (Chicago – New York)
  • Auto Train Trains 52 and 53 (Sanford, Fla. - Lorton, Va.)
  • Carolinian Trains 79 and 80 (New York - Charlotte, N.C.) canceled between New York and Raleigh only; trains will operate between Raleigh and Charlotte  
  • Palmetto Trains 89 and 90 (New York - Savannah)
  • Silver Star Trains 91 and 92 (New York -Tampa - Miami) canceled between New York and Jacksonville; trains will operate between Jacksonville and Miami
  • Silver Meteor Trains 97 and 98 (New York - Miami)  

The Piedmont Service (Raleigh – Charlotte, N.C) will operate as scheduled on Monday, Aug. 29.  In addition, the Carolinian will operate between Raleigh and Charlotte and the Silver Star will operate between Jacksonville and Miami on Monday, Aug. 29. 

Additional cancellations are expected.  Amtrak will continue to provide updates via Amtrak.com, the Customer Contact Centers, Facebook, Twitter and the news media. 

Passengers who have paid for travel on canceled trains can contact Amtrak to receive refunds without fee or penalty or can rebook for future travel.  If tickets have not yet printed, the refund/rebook can be done on Amtrak.com or the new and free Amtrak iPhone app.

Information is subject to change as conditions warrant. Passengers are encouraged to call 800-USA-RAIL or visit Amtrak.com for schedule information and train status updates.

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