RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is asking drivers to stay off roadways ahead of more winter weather.
VDOT said in a release that starting on Wednesday, crews across the Richmond area will start preparing equipment and pretreating interstates with saltwater brine, which prevents ice from forming on the pavement. Crews will begin working 12-hour shifts around the clock in order to make sure all roads are drivable.
Salt and sand are currently being replenished following the back-to-back winter weather Central Virginia experienced the last two weeks.
VDOT said round three of winter weather in the region should be taken seriously.
“With this storm potentially beginning during the Thursday evening commute, we urge drivers to spend today preparing,” said Sean Nelson, Richmond District Maintenance Engineer in a release. “This storm may include a range of wintry precipitation types including ice, so it’s important that drivers make plans to limit travel until roads are safe and passable.”
Crews will be on the interstates starting Thursday evening to assist with traffic incidents.
VDOT said to make all required trips before precipitation starts tonight. If anyone has to drive during the storm, give snowplows and other emergency response vehicles at least 100 feet of distance to work.
8News Reporter Laura Perrot headed to Chesterfield Thursday evening during the winter storm. Rain turned to sleet and then to snow, the snow which had been lasting for hours begun sticking to Midlothian Turnpike.
Over in Richmond, snow flakes coated West Broad Street.
One Richmond area resident, Wonda Gammon made sure to prepare on Thursday and filled up her tires with air in anticipation of the weather getting worse.
“It’s crazy, it’s scary, I just saw Texas had a 75 car pile up on ice.”
Gammon is looking out for one thing more than others, black ice, saying “you can’t see it, it’s bad.”
VDOT has advised drivers to say home as the winter weather continues effecting the area. Gammon assures 8News that she intends to heed those warnings. She headed back home shortly after filling her tires.
Others have no choice but to drive in the winter weather. John Westbrook travels for work and says driving to work in necessary.
“We wore in the rain, sleet or snow,” Westbrook said.
Anyone out on the roads during the ice and snow is warned to avoid passing snow plows or following them too closely.