VDOT warns of black ice as temperatures drop below freezing overnight

VDOT warns of black ice as temperatures drop below freezing overnight

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is warning people of black ice and ask drivers to avoid unnecessary travel overnight Monday as crews continue to work on roads.

Overnight, road conditions improved drastically, but there’s still some snowy and icy streets. With interstates mostly clear, crews have shifted their focus to clearing secondary roads and neighborhoods.

VDOT says high volume secondary routes are clear but neighborhood roads are in “moderate to severe condition," meaning snow is partially or fully covering the road.

Crews continues to work 12-hour shifts until roads are passable.

VDOT officials said to be cautious in the overnight driving hours as melted snow could refreeze and turn to ice. Some ramps, overpasses and shaded areas may also have isolated patches of ice still.

Henrico and Richmond have dozens of crews working 12-hour shifts to help clear secondary and neighborhood roads overnight.

Henrico’s Public Works Department has brought in around 100 pieces of equipment to help clear the roads. Richmond has around 50 crews doing the same.

They’re also going to be battling black ice.

“Refreeze takes its toll because then we got to go back and salt and put deicing materials on all those areas that are going to be slick tomorrow morning, so that’s going to slow us down a little bit,” said Steve Yobb, who manages Henrico’s Public Works Department

NBC12 spent Sunday traveling all across the Richmond Metro area. By day and night, snow continued to pile up.

"Just cars and flashing lights blinking, people trying to figure out where to go,” Makicia Crawford said.

She was just returning from work. First she traveled on the highway…

“Chippenham is scary,” she said.

And then in her neighborhood, "The roads are really bad,” she added.

VDOT: Avoid unnecessary travel as crews continue to clear snowy roads

VDOT sent salt and sand trucks out as soon as the snow started falling. They also have crews working around the clock with snow plows.

"We’re working to have one lane passable on all roads within 48 hours of the storm’s end,” Bethanie Glover said.

Their first priority is highways and interstates, then they’ll focus on neighborhood streets.

"It’s falling so fast that we have to keep coming back and going over places again,” she added.

One thing that’s making it difficult - drivers on the roads who may not need to be. Many are spinning out.

"If they’re in a travel lane, it could prevent that lane from being cleared,” Glover said.

On I-95 north in Chester, two semi trucks got stuck, leading to a standstill and forcing authorities to re-route travel onto 288 Sunday night.

Now that the snow has stopped, VDOT can focus on getting the snow clear for good.

But be patient - this isn’t a light task.

In some areas, you can’t tell the road from the sidewalk, which isn’t a pretty picture for those braving the roads.

"They’re still bad. It was just a lot of swerving,” Crawford said.

For snow that hasn’t melted yet, don’t expect it to do so overnight. There will be freezing temperatures which will mean slick roads in the morning.

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