VDOT is warning drivers across the Richmond area to avoid travel for the remainder of Saturday and all of Sunday as heavy snow and high winds are reducing visibility and challenging plowing crews.
VDOT says conditions are extremely dangerous and remaining off the roads Sunday will allow plows to clear travel lanes. They will have crews working overnight to remove snow on the interstate and primary highways and will shift their focus to secondary roads. VDOT says it may take another 24 to 48 hours to reach the rural areas. They say their goal is to "make all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours."
About 9,500 crews using 13,000 trucks, plows and spreaders are working to respond to the storm, but plows aren't able to keep up with the heavy, blowing snows.
“The snow and wind gusts are causing near white-out conditions, which will continue to make plowing roads a challenge," said Rob Cary, Richmond District Engineer. "It’s covering the pavement shortly after plows pass through.”
Most roads in the Richmond region are in severe condition, meaning that snow and ice are completely covering the pavement. Hanover sheriffs also say conditions are deteriorating.
"I'm getting reports from the east end of the county all the way to the west end of the county of the main roads still being covered, pretty much impassable at this point," said Sgt. Christopher Stem of Hanover County Sheriff’s Office . "We're just really urging everyone to stay home, and give the crews the time they need to get all the roads clear."
Sgt. Stern urged residents to stay indoors and off the roads.
"One thing we just really want to stress to the public is if you have to go out, make sure you are in an all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle, and if you don't have to go out this evening or tomorrow, please just stay in, stay off the roads for the safety of our public safety personnel and for the safety of the other citizens as well." said Sgt. Stern.
VDOT says interstates and primary roads are mostly in moderate condition, with the worst conditions from Richmond to Northern Virginia. However, secondary roads are in moderate to severe condition with many covered in heavy snow and partially blocked.
Click here to check the latest travel conditions or call 511.
Copyright 2016 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.