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Icy mix ahead for area
VDOT urges travel caution
Monday, March 17, 2014
The National Weather Service in Blacksburg has issued a winter weather advisory for south central Virginia, including Henry County, Martinsville and surrounding areas.
The advisory is in effect until 2 p.m. today for a “complex storm system (that) could bring a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain.” The precipitation was expected to begin early this morning.
An area of low pressure along the Mississippi River Valley was to track through the southeastern states yesterday. The system was to unfold overnight, and move off the Carolina coast this morning, the weather service said.
Snow, freezing rain and sleet are likely before noon today, with a slight chance of rain and sleet in the early afternoon. Rain will begin around 3 p.m., and rain and/or freezing rain will resume at night. Freezing rain is possible Tuesday morning, according to the weather service.
Light accumulations of up to one-tenth of an inch of ice are expected, according to the weather service. The weather likely will cause travel difficulties, according to the weather service, and motorists should be prepared for slippery roads and limited visibility this morning.
According to a release from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), equipment has been prepared and employees and contractors alerted to be ready to mobilize.
“VDOT will not be pre-treating roads with brine ahead of this storm,” the release stated. “With rain forecasted ahead of frozen precipitation, the brine would wash off roads and not be effective,” the release added.
As rain transitions to frozen precipitation, roads are likely to become icy and snow covered, according to VDOT. The department will begin treating main roads first, according to the release, then will work on secondary roads.
VDOT encourages people to stay home if possible. However, if travel is necessary, motorists should allow extra time for travel; drive slowly; use brakes sparingly; keep a safe distance behind other vehicles; and clear ice and snow from vehicle windows, lights and mirrors.
To reported downed trees or other road maintenance issues on state-maintained roadways, call 1-800-367-7623.