VDOT: "We're prepared for severe winter weather" - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

VDOT: "We're prepared for severe winter weather"

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - On this crisp fall day, the state announces it's ready for severe winter weather.

"Just like any other weather event we have to plan ahead of time and get our crews ready, get equipment ready and have a budget in place," said VDOT spokesperson, Dawn Eischen.

VDOT has a bigger snow removal budget this year. It's $126 million-- that's a $20 million increase compared to last year.

"That's for the cost of folks going out to remove the snow, labor, also for equipment, keeping it in good shape," said Eischen.

The Richmond district now has more than 11,000 pieces of snow equipment. VDOT has allotted $10.2 million for snow removal in the metro area.

"We're ready if we get snow tomorrow, the next day, anytime within the winter season," said Eischen.

Right now, the department has 91,000 tons of sand and more than 300,000 tons of salt in stock -- which will be replenished as its used.

VDOT is reminding residents of how brutal and dangerous winter can be. Folks are being encouraged to have an emergency kit, to stay informed, and to have a plan.

"The message we're going to push to people this year is to figure out where you want to be before the storm hits and get there before the first flake falls," said Eischen.

VDOT is responsible for maintaining nearly 60,000 miles of roadway statewide.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

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