VDOT warns Virginians against unnecessary travel as more winter weather approaches

The Virginia Department of Transportation is warning drivers to remain cautious on roadways, as refreezes make roads treacherous and the possibility of more winter weather approaches the commonwealth.

VDOT said crews are still working in 12-hour shifts to clear primary and secondary roads, two days after a 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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Power outages were a common occurrence following the storm, and Dominion Energy said that some 400,000 customers were affected. This also left many traffic lights and cameras without power, although VDOT said it has been working with Dominion to get these operational again quickly.

More snow is expected to fall Thursday evening, and some areas of Northern Virginia could see up to 4 inches.

Interstates, primary roads and major secondary roads will receive priority for road clearing, followed by secondary and subdivision streets.

VDOT is also warning drivers to avoid unnecessary travel in the area of Fredericksburg City, as more than 100 state-maintained roads were closed as of 1:30 p.m. Wednesday due to fallen trees and power lines, and many secondary roads are still coated in snow and ice.

Drivers are asked to postpone travel as long as possible in order to give crews time to treat roads, and allow plenty of travel time once they do set out. Drivers should also leave plenty of room between their car and the car ahead of them, and brake lightly to keep tires from losing traction.

VDOT also warned drivers not to pass snow plows.

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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