Crews prepping for weekend winter storm | Here’s what you need to know

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 6:59 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 14, 2022 at 12:30 PM EST
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As more wintry weather approaches Central Virginia on Sunday, VDOT crews are continuing to pre-treat roads and interstates.

On Thursday, crews in the VDOT Richmond District started spraying saltwater brine to their routes to reduce chance of ice bonding with pavement. On Friday, crews in this district are expected to finish pre-treating these roads.

On Thursday, VDOT Fredericksburg District said they finished pre-treating parts of I-95 in their service area, which stretches from Caroline County into Prince William County.

Kelly Hannon, a spokesperson for the VDOT Fredericksburg District, said their work to pre-treat other roads continued into Friday.

“We’re at a maximum mobilization level for this storm,” she said. “What that mean is all hands on deck. Everyone is coming in.”

Hannon also described the district’s plan for I-95, where they will have more than 100 pieces of equipment dedicated to plowing and treating the interstate.

“Ramp trucks that will be in their assigned areas go up and down making sure access remains clear on and off the interstate,” Hannon said. “We will have six towing companies, heavy duty wreckers, that will be staged across the corridor in key locations. If there’s disabled trucks and crashes, we can quickly respond to those incidents.”

Along with this, Hannon also said there will be a team of monitors who will keep a close eye on the interstate’s conditions.

“They’re eyes on the ground, making sure if there are crashes, we’re responding,” she said. “If there needs to be additional treatment put down, additional plowing down, that they’re there relaying that message to our operator.”

Hannon also urges drivers to stay off the roads and plan your travel around the storm, which means getting to your destination before Sunday or delaying your travel plans.

As VDOT crews prepare for the winter storm, residents in the area are also getting their last-minute snow essentials.

At Pleasant’s Hardware off Patterson Avenue, people were picking up bags of ice melt, shovels and sleds ahead of the weekend forecast.

“It’s been kind of a slow trickle all week,” said Melissa Jenkins, store manager of the Pleasant’s Hardware location off Patterson Avenue. “We’re just taking it one day at a time. We got the supplies, if you need them. It’s good to prepare ahead of time.

While others grabbed their last-minute items from Pleasant’s Hardware, others were heading to the grocery store to get the items they need on their checklist.

“Making sure I have enough milk and orange to last a day,” said Barbara Bowman.

As you prepare for the long weekend ahead, Virginia State Police are advising you to be aware of the weather and pay attention to how the pending winter storm could impact your travel plans.

Troopers don’t want a repeat of what happened during last week’s round of winter weather, so officials are urging you to delay or avoid travel on Sunday.

However, if you do have to go out in the storm, make sure you are prepared.

What to know before you go:

  • Bring snacks
  • Cell phone charger
  • Warm blankets
  • Medication
  • Make sure your gas tank is full

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