News to Know for Feb. 18: Ice storm cometh; Closings & delays; Avoid travel; Devastating overnight fire; Hopewell water woes

News to Know for Feb. 18: Ice storm cometh; Closings & delays; Avoid travel; Devastating overnight fire; Hopewell water woes
The freezing rain formed icicles on NBC12's camera during the morning newscast. (Source: NBC12)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - Here’s a quick look at the stories you need to know before you start your day.

Ice Storm Cometh

The area’s second ice storm of the year has already started. A Winter Storm Warning is in effect through Friday morning to cover the freezing rain threat along with a little snow and sleet at the start of the storm.

Ice storm likely brings tree damage, power outages, dangerous travel

Here is the breakdown of our ice totals. Notice the area highlighted in the black line. This area could near 3/4″ of ice in some spots.

Significant ice expected, especially west and southwest of Richmond
Significant ice expected, especially west and southwest of Richmond (Source: WWBT)

Closings and Delays

Before the storm hit, almost all school districts and many government offices in our area closed for today. Chesterfield, Dinwiddie, Goochland, Hanover, Henrico, Hopewell, Louisa, Petersburg, Powhatan, and Richmond public schools are all closed - among several others.

See the full list here. And keep it bookmarked for tomorrow.

The weather has also canceled some vaccine clinics. And caused GRTC to operate on snow routes Thursday.

Avoid Travel if Possible

Work got underway Wednesday to ease the treacherous road conditions likely to come from this round of winter weather.

VDOT urging drivers to avoid the roads Thursday

Transportation crews are gearing up for more ice, and of course, more trees to fall over roadways, and they’re telling drivers to avoid travel Thursday.

What About Power?

We have a high level of concern that power could go out in many places again. Please prepare now.

Meanwhile, power crews are still working to restore power to those still in the dark from last weekend’s ice storm. Most of the outages remaining are coming from Southside Electric, with 23,000 customers still without power. Dominion is down to 1,500.

Devastating Fire Overnight

A fire tore through a Henrico home early Thursday morning, leaving most of it a charred mess.

DEVASTATING FIRE: Henrico fire crews are still battling hot spots and say they will be out here for several more hours. Thankfully, everyone inside managed to escape, but the damage to the home leaves it “unlivable.” Emily Harrison NBC12 is live at the scene. ⬇️

Posted by NBC12 on Thursday, February 18, 2021

Officials called the fire a “9 out of 10″ in terms of how bad it was; the roof collapsed and walls burned through. At this point, they say the cause is not weather-related.

Water Woes in Hopewell

The water is back and flowing once again for some customers, but a boil water notice remains in effect for more than 9,000 people.

And because of today’s weather, there will be no water distribution.

Virginia American Water says you need to boil water for a least a minute before using it for cooking or drinking. They’re still testing it to make sure it’s safe.

Vaccine Hotline Launches

750 live agents will be available to answer questions about where to get a vaccine in the state. To pre-register, call 877-VAX-IN-VA or click here.

Keep in mind, vaccine supply is still very limited and pre-registering likely won’t result in immediate access to one. For full coverage of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Virginia, click here.

Send it to 12

Make sure to show us what’s happening in your area today as the ice storm hits. Submit your photos here:

Final Thought

“He who cannot put his thoughts on ice should not enter into the heat of dispute.” - Friedrich Nietzsche

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