VDOT : Freezing Rain Predicted During Thursday Commute

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A screenshot from the VDOT camera on top of Afton Mountain early Thursday morning shows ice dripping ini front of the camera lens. Mile marker 99.3 I-64 on 12.14.22
A screenshot from the VDOT camera on top of Afton Mountain early Thursday morning shows ice dripping ini front of the camera lens. Mile marker 99.3 I-64 on 12.14.22

Delay or adjust travel plans since roads may become hazardous during icy conditions

CULPEPER — Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation are on the roads this morning, prepared to respond to any reports of icing on highways. Rain is falling across the Piedmont region and is forecast to change to freezing rain during the morning commuting hours in the counties closest to the Blue Ridge Mountains. Freezing rain can quickly make roads icy and slick and is extremely hazardous for all drivers, even in four-wheel and all-wheel-drive vehicles.

Ice is likely to form first in areas where pavement temperatures are lowest. These spots include bridges, overpasses, and ramps and at elevations such as the mountain passes on Interstate 64 and U.S. 250 in Albemarle County, U.S. 33 at Swift Run Gap in Greene County, U.S. 211 at Thornton Gap and U.S. 522 at Chester Gap in Rappahannock County.

If travel is necessary this morning, drivers should pay attention to local weather forecasts and road conditions and plan to use extreme caution as road conditions may deteriorate quickly. As air temperatures fall, pavement temperatures will also drop, creating the potential for icy conditions through Thursday morning.

VDOT crews are working across the state to respond to the storm. In the nine counties of the Culpeper District crews have been on duty overnight and will spread salt and sand to improve traction and melt ice when freezing precipitation begins. Since the storm began as rain brine was not used for this event since the rain would have washed it off the roads, rendering it ineffective.

Safety and Travel Resources

When winter weather arrives, residents and motorists should plan travel ahead of time, check road conditions, prepare an emergency car kit, follow forecasts and announcements and limit travel based on conditions.

Prior to travel, motorists should visit 511virginia.org, call 511 or check the 511 Virginia

mobile app for up-to-date information on road and traffic conditions.

Local updates about conditions in VDOT’s Culpeper District are posted toTwitter.com/VaDOTCulp.

Visit VDOT’s winter weather page for more information about winter weather preparations and response.

For questions or to report hazardous road conditions, the public should contact VDOT’s 24-hour Customer Service Center by visiting my.vdot.virginia.gov or calling 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623).

SOME FREEZING RAIN REPORTED IN THE SHENANDOAH VALLEY – WITH MORE ON THE WAY

STAUNTON – (4 a.m.) A mix of rain, freezing rain and sleet is falling early Thursday morning, December 15, in the Shenandoah Valley and Alleghany Highlands. As of 4 a.m., the northern valley is reporting some icy spots, and freezing conditions are expected to overspread the region throughout the morning. Hazardous conditions are likely for the Thursday morning commute. The Virginia Department of Transportation advises motorists to avoid all unnecessary travel.

Crews from the VDOT Staunton District are on duty throughout the 11-county region to treat roadways with salt and abrasives. Interstates and other major highways are treated first, followed by secondary roads and subdivision streets.

Bridges and overpasses freeze first, sometimes creating an icy glaze even when roadway approaches are just wet. Those who must drive should use extreme caution and always wear a seatbelt.

In addition to freezing rain and sleet, strong and gusty winds are expected on Thursday. Motorists should be alert for downed trees, branches or utility lines. VDOT has tree-removal contractors on standby to help keep roadways clear.

Statewide road conditions and traffic cameras are found at http://www.511Virginia.org. Roads with snow conditions will be marked minor, moderate, severe or closed.

Road condition definitions:

  • Closed – Road is closed to all traffic.
  • Severe – drifting or partially blocked road.
  • Moderate – snow or ice on major portions of the roadway.
  • Minor – bare pavement except for isolated spots of snow, ice or slush. Driving with caution is recommended.

For a text listing of winter weather road conditions go to http://www.511Virginia.organd click “Text Views” on the orange bar across the top of the page. Then click on “Road Conditions Table” and use the pull-down box to select individual counties and cities.

On the go? Visit VDOT’s Free Virginia 511 Tools to get your 511 app for android or iOS. Traffic alerts and traveler information can be obtained by dialing 511.

The VDOT Customer Service Center can be accessed through its mobile friendly website at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov/. Agents are on site 24/7 every day of the year to assist the public. People can also call the VDOT Customer Service Center at 800-FOR- ROAD (800-367-7623).

The Staunton District Snow Page is on the VDOT website under Travel Center Snow Emergency Pages. The Staunton District Twitter feed is at @VaDOTStaunton.

Follow VDOT on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter and YouTube. RSS feeds are also available for statewide information. The VDOT Web page is located at http://www.VirginiaDOT.org.

The VDOT Staunton District serves Frederick, Shenandoah, Clarke, Warren, Page, Rockingham, Augusta, Highland, Rockbridge, Alleghany and Bath counties.

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