This week we experienced our first snow event of the season with more snow predicted for tonight. I want to provide you with the latest information from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) so that you will be prepared for any weather event we may experience this winter.
In preparation for today’s storm, VDOT will be conducting anti-icing activities between 11 am and 4 pm today, focusing on hills, ramps, bridges, overpasses, shady areas, and hot spots.
At the beginning of this winter season, the Northern Virginia District of VDOT presented their Snow Briefing for the upcoming winter season and I am pleased to inform you that they have made significant improvements in their winter preparation efforts. Please CLICK HERE to view the VDOT presentation.
New tools that VDOT has developed include:
- A mobile weather station for roads
- A new 22,000-ton salt dome
- A fleet of trucks to help clear the I-495 Express Lanes
- A pilot program where the public can track snow removal in their neighborhoods
- A portable snow melter for park-n-ride lots so to quickly access needed parking spaces
- 1,200 more trucks than during the severe winter of 2010. Nearly 4,000 trucks and plows, mostly contracted, will now be available for snow and ice removal in northern Virginia
- Expanded pre-treating of roads
VDOT’s winter resources:
- For snow removal information: http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp
- To see the status of plowing in your neighborhood: http://novasnowplowing.virginia.gov
- For real-time traffic updates and road conditions: Visit http://www.511virginia.org/, download the 511 smartphone app, or follow @511northernva on Twitter
- Reporting unplowed roads or hazardous conditions: email email@example.com or call 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623)
- For general VDOT info: Follow VDOT on Facebook at www.facebook.com/VirginiaDOT, on Twitter @VDOT, and visit www.VirginiaDOT.org
To make the snow removal process easier, VDOT has a few recommendations and reminders for local citizens:
1. When shoveling your own sidewalk/driveway, leave at least 5 feet of snow from the curb until after the plow has passed through.
2. Park your car on the odd numbered side of the street or in driveways. The more cars are parked on the street, the less amount of snow is able to be plowed.
3. Stay off the road if there are reports of a storm. Abandoned cars are one of the biggest obstacles to the plowing process.
4. Remember that it is harder for crews to plow packed snow and especially ice. Don’t expect to be able to see black pavement once the plow comes through.
5. The goal is to make all roads one lane passable, not clear them completely of snow.
As always, during every storm, please do not hesitate to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me (804.698.1042) if you are having issues regarding either plowing or storm outages. I hope this will be a non-event winter in terms of weather, but it is necessary to be prepared.