VDOT Prepares for Thursday's Snowstorm

By: Estephany Escobar Email
By: Estephany Escobar Email

The Virginia Department of Transportation is getting ready for a possible snowstorm.

As of 11 p.m., VDOT employees had not made the call to send out all crews on Thursday.

According to VDOT Staunton District Communications Manager Sandy Myers, that decision will be made on Thursday morning when employees learn more about the forecast.

She said the department has around 970 available vehicles and enough materials to make sure the roads are clear.

"We are in really good shape.We are ready to go out and hit the snow running," Myers said.

They also have the help of private contractors like Commonwealth Excavating.

Owner Ira Biggs said he is calling in 25 more employees to work.

"We will be running here about 6:00 a.m., they make the call when we go out on the interstate so we have everything prepped and ready to go. We just can't be late," Biggs said.

Myers said they usually have crews watching the roads even before the storm starts.

"The main thing is to get ahead of the storm, try to be out on the road when the weather begins to hit. If you get that inch or two out there then it's a little bit more difficult," Myers said.

She said local administrative offices handling snow removal will make the call if they need more crews out.

Myers said the pavement temperature is one of the factors VDOT uses to determine if they need more crews.

"Once you start getting close that 32 degree mark, then the snow starts sticking to the roads and if they haven't been plowed or treated so obviously is gonna be a little more slick," Myers said.

If the storm continues, Myers said VDOT will work extra.

"The crews are obviously going into those 24 hour shifts probably once the storm starts and we will keep on until we have all the roads cleared," Myers said.

Myers said if the storm continues, they will go into a 24-hour mode. This will mean they will have crews working 12-hour shifts. She said they will clear the roads within 48 hours.

According to Myers, VDOT will start with the interstate and highly traffic areas. Then they would go into neighborhoods to clear the roads.

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