Get­ting ready

State agen­cies make prepa­ra­tions ahead of ex­pected storm.

Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend - - FRONT PAGE -

In ad­vance of the win­ter storm headed for Vir­ginia this week­end, Gov. Ralph Northam has placed state agen­cies — in­clud­ing trans­porta­tion, emer­gency man­age­ment and state po­lice — on alert.

The storm sys­tem could re­sult in wide­spread power out­ages and dan­ger­ous road con­di­tions across the state, Northam said in a pre­pared state­ment.

Shan­non Valen­tine, the state’s sec­re­tary of trans­porta­tion, said in the state­ment that the Vir­ginia Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion “has taken mea­sures to pre-treat roads and pre­pare equip­ment, crews and ma­te­ri­als ahead of the storm. Safety is our top pri­or­ity. Driv­ing con­di­tions are ex­pected to be haz­ardous, and mo­torists are urged to stay off the roads un­til the storm passes and road con­di­tions are im­proved.”

VDOT has been pre-treat­ing the roads with a mix­ture of salt and wa­ter in the Rich­mond area since Thurs­day and will con­tinue to do so through Satur­day. Once pre­cip­i­ta­tion falls, the roads will be treated with salt.

For the up­com­ing snow sea­son, VDOT crews are equipped with more than 100,000 tons of salt, sand and abra­sives. When there is 2 to 4 inches of snow, the goal is to have one pass­able lane on all roads 24 hours after a storm ends.

Do­min­ion En­ergy does not an­tic­i­pate wide­spread power out­ages with this storm in the Rich­mond area, but the com­pany will have crews and con­trac­tors on standby ready to re­spond.

“The forecast is for a dry snow, which typ­i­cally does not cause ma­jor out­ages,” said Le-Ha An­der­son, a spokes­woman for Do­min­ion En­ergy.

The city of Rich­mond’s cold weather over­flow shel­ter at 1400 Oliver Hill Way will be open Satur­day at 7 p.m. un­til Mon­day at 10 a.m.

Also, the New Kent County Sher­iff’s Of­fice an­nounced that the Prov­i­dence Forge Christ­mas Pa­rade sched­uled for Sun­day has been can­celed.

Here are some other travel and storm prepa­ra­tion tips to fol­low:

♦ For in­for­ma­tion about road and traf­fic con­di­tions, check www.511vir­ginia.org or call 511 be­fore trav­el­ing.

♦ VDOT has a tracker with which view­ers can track snow­plow ac­tiv­ity at www.vdot­plows.org. The Snow Plow Tracker will be ac­ti­vated if snow ac­cu­mu­la­tions reach 2 inches or more.

♦ Make sure to have wa­ter and non­per­ish­able food items avail­able to sus­tain your­self and your fam­ily for three days in the event of ma­jor power out­ages and road clo­sures.

♦ Mo­torists are strongly en­cour­aged to stay off the roads dur­ing the storm.

♦ To re­port power out­ages to Do­min­ion En­ergy, visit Do­min­ionEn­ergy.com and check the map for up­dates. Stay clear of downed lines and call (866) 366-4357 to re­port them.

VDOT has a tracker with which view­ers can track snow­plow ac­tiv­ity at www.vdot­plows.org.

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