Northam declares state of emergency in Va. ahead of winter storm

A state of emergency has been declared in Virginia Wednesday as a second winter storm remains poised to dump more snow just as the D.C. region is still recovering with the aftereffects of a storm Monday, which left more than a foot of snow in some places and stranded drivers for hours in traffic.

Gov. Ralph Northam said the storm — which is expected to hit the D.C. region Thursday night into Friday morning and bring 1 to 4 inches of snow in some places — will exacerbate the problems remaining from the previous storm.



Some areas are still without power after the storm brought trees down on power lines. Northam said the state of emergency was necessary because of how soon this storm comes on the heels of the first.

“Having two bouts of snow and icy weather back-to-back makes it more likely communities will need additional help as they continue to recover from the first round of tree-snapping wet snow and ice that we saw Monday,” Northam said. “While we typically have ample resources for snow storms, these back-to-back events will generate landmark winter weather that requires extra flexibility.”

The state of emergency allows heads of executive branch agencies to more easily enter into contracts for services without going through the normal procedures required by the state. Waivers issued by those agencies will be posted on their websites.

On Wednesday, the Virginia Department of Transportation warned drivers to remain cautious on roadways — if they absolutely must travel — as the second storm system approaches.

VDOT said crews are still working in 12-hour shifts to clear primary and secondary roads, two days after the snowstorm that left drivers from Richmond to D.C. stranded on Interstate 95 — some for more than 24 hours.

The department asked that motorists avoid nonessential travel and to be extremely cautious if they do head out onto the roads, as black ice and generally slick conditions could plague many of the roads in Virginia.


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Zeke Hartner

Zeke Hartner is a digital writer/editor who has been with WTOP since 2017. He is a graduate of North Carolina State University’s Political Science program and an avid news junkie.

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