CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Despite a dangerous mix of snow, ice and freezing temperatures, the Chesterfield County Police Department responded to fewer calls Thursday morning than during the area’s last ice storm on Saturday.
However, as precipitation continues to fall, authorities warn the conditions on the roads could get worse.
“During the morning hours, we did encounter several calls related to disabled vehicles, vehicles that were in ditches, things of that nature,” said CCPD Lieutenant Adrian Otero. “We kind of avoided a major catastrophe with a large number of accidents.”
Like last weekend, CCPD called in extra help from specialty units in anticipation of an increase in the volume of calls because winter weather.
“Calls for service today have been down significantly, compared to what we dealt with over the weekend,” Otero said. “We had officers that were tied up on roads that were closed due to downed power lines and downed trees for several hours. Some officers were out there — not individual officers — but we had those areas manned for nearly 24 hours because of the roadways conditions.”
While Otero says Thursday morning was a complete contrast from Sunday morning, he fears that may not last as the freezing rain continues to fall.
“Throughout my travels today, while going down Beach Road, conditions were rather slick, and you can start to see where the trees were hanging over top of the roadways,” he said. “I think this evening is probably going to get worse for us, so we recommend that everybody just stay home, if you can.”
For those who can’t avoid traveling Thursday evening, Otero cautions all drivers to reduce their speed.
“That correlates into stopping distance,” he said. “If you give yourself plenty of time to stop, it’ll benefit you because you’re not running into the rear of somebody else’s vehicle or skidding through an intersection, and for those people who have four-wheel-drive vehicles or big four-by-four trucks, it’s not going to help you during these slick conditions.”
While Otero says Chesterfield Police responded to several calls where vehicles had been disabled, as of Thursday afternoon, no injuries had been reported from car crashes.
“We are really happy to see that there aren’t very many people commuting back and forth on our roadways,” Otero said. “We were getting a lot of vehicles that, due to the slick conditions, had a difficult time just maneuvering the roadways.”
Those who must travel Thursday night are advised to check the latest weather conditions before getting on the road.