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VDOT prepares for winter weather

Published: Jan. 2, 2022 at 7:38 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 2, 2022 at 8:11 PM EST
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) Staunton District is preparing for early morning winter weather on Monday. Crews will be on standby beginning at midnight to monitor road conditions and begin plowing.

Crews will not pre-treat roads on Sunday night because the storm is expected to begin as rain.

“When we have a storm that is expected to start as rain, then it would simply wash that material off the roads and it would be a waste of resources, but we certainly will be ready to treat and plow roads as soon as there is any accumulation on the road surface,” said Ken Slack, communications specialist for the VDOT Staunton District.

VDOT said people in the Valley should avoid traveling on Monday, if at all possible, and if they must travel, to keep an eye on 511virginia.org for updates on road conditions.

Slack said that despite recent warm temperatures, it’s important people not take the storm lightly.

“We’re looking at the possibility for at least part of this storm to have some very heavy rates of snowfall that could overcome the warmth of the ground and also cause some visibility issues,” he said. “We’re looking at a pretty dramatic change in our weather and that’s certainly going to affect the way people drive.”

The VDOT Staunton District will have around 750 pieces of snow removal equipment deployed across the Valley.

Slack said one advantage VDOT has is that those planning snow removal efforts know the area well.

“The operation takes place at the local level. Our residency offices and our area headquarters are staffed by folks who live there, they work there, and they know those road. They know the could spots and they know the areas that tend to see accumulation first,” Slack said.

The City of Harrisonburg also has crews reporting on Sunday night to begin preparations for the storm. The city encourages residents to check its website and social media for updates on road conditions.

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