Mix of Snow, Sleet & Freezing Rain Hits Central Virginia Blue Ridge

Photo by VSP : A trooper observes road conditions along Route 29 in Nelson County near Lovingston. Sunday - January 16, 2022.
Photo by VSP : A Virginia State Trooper observes road conditions along Route 29 in Nelson County near Lovingston. Sunday – January 16, 2022.

Central Virginia Blue Ridge
By Tommy Stafford

As forecasted, a winter mess of snow, sleet & freezing rain moved into the area around noontime Sunday.

From VSP, 1:40 PM Sunday :

During the current winter storm impacting the Commonwealth, Virginia State Police troopers have responded to 142 traffic crashes and 162 disabled vehicles since 12:01 a.m. Sunday (Jan. 16) through 12:45 p.m. Sunday (Jan. 16). The majority of those crashes have involved only damage to vehicles. There have been no reported traffic fatalities during this time period.
Since midnight on Sunday (Jan. 16), Virginia State Police have responded to:

Richmond Division: 12 Disabled Vehicles & 30 Traffic Crashes

Culpeper Division: 21 Disabled Vehicles & 6 Traffic Crashes (Photo from Culpeper County attached… crash with no injuries.)

Appomattox Division: 17 Disabled Vehicles & 20 Traffic Crashes

Wytheville Division: 45 Disabled Vehicles & 36 Traffic Crashes

Chesapeake Division: 18 Disabled Vehicles & 11 Traffic Crashes

Salem Division: 29 Disabled Vehicles & 32 Traffic Crashes
Virginia State Police remain on the scene of a multi-vehicle backup on Interstate 81 in Roanoke County. At approximately 12:05 p.m. Sunday, a tractor-trailer jackknifed and the cab disconnected from the trailer in the northbound lanes of I-81 at the 134 mile marker. A wrecker is on scene working to get the tractor-trailer re-connected, so the northbound lanes can be cleared and traffic can begin moving again. However, in the backup of traffic, there are two additional reported traffic crashes – one with minor injuries reported and the other with no reported injuries. Fire and EMS have responded to the scene. Please follow 511 Salem for information on the detour. PHOTOS attached.

Fairfax Division: 20 Disabled Vehicles & 7 Traffic Crashes

As the storm continues to cross the state, Virginians are still advised to avoid travel Sunday and overnight into Monday…especially along the Interstate 81 corridor. Open highways allow VDOT crews to safely and effectively treat the roads.

If you MUST travel during the storm, please take these safety tips into consideration:
·         Know Before You Go! Before heading out, check Virginia road conditions at www.511virginia.org or download the VDOT 511 app. Do not call 911 or #77 for road conditions. Please leave these emergency lines open for emergencies only.
·         Clear ALL snow and ice from the roof, trunk, hood and windows of your vehicle – car, SUV, minivan, pickup truck, commercial vehicle – before you travel.
·         Use your headlights – in rain and snow. Virginia law requires headlights on when your wipers are active.
·         Drive for conditions – slow your speed and increase your traveling distance between the vehicle ahead of you.
·         Always buckle up.
·         Avoid distractions – put down the phone.
·         As the storm moves through the state, there will be an increased chance of encountering emergency vehicles assisting motorists. If it is safe to do so, carefully move over and give these responders plenty of room to safely work.

Shelby Crouch
Public Relations Coordinator
Virginia State Police

A wind driven snow mixed with sleet and freezing rain falls in Roseland, Virginia of Nelson County. Sunday afternoon – January 16, 2022.

From VDOT Lynchburg, 4:10 PM

Falling snow has turned to sleet and ice in many areas in the Lynchburg District

Lynchburg, Va. – In many areas within VDOT’s Lynchburg District, the steady snowfall has turned to sleet. Ice on the roadways is now a major concern. VDOT continues to urge motorists to stay off the roads unless absolutely necessary. The storm is expected to leave the Lynchburg District area between 8 p.m. and 2 a.m., meaning we still have several hours of precipitation yet to come.

VDOT crews have been plowing roads all day and will continue until all roads are passable. Crews are first treating primary roads before moving on to secondary roads. Looking ahead, ice-covered roadways are a threat overnight and into tomorrow, as there is a risk of refreeze on the roadways.

Keep in mind, due to the colder temperatures we are seeing now, this storm is different from the storm we faced on Jan 3. It may take crews more time and effort to clear the roads this time around.

Those who must travel should maintain a safe speed, increase following distance and visit 511virginia.org to check conditions before driving. Motorists are advised to have an emergency kit inside their vehicle with things like food and water, blankets, hats and gloves, jumper cables, a flashlight and batteries and a working cell phone.

VDOT’s Customer Service Center is open 24 hours a day to answer questions and take reports of roadway hazards. Call 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or contact us online at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov
To view VDOT plow truck locations, visit vdotplows.org

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for most of the area until early Monday morning.


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