RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)– State agencies are working together to prepare for Sunday’s expected winter storm.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is expected to finish pre-treating interstates and major routes today. Last night, crews began treating roads with saltwater brine to prevent ice from sticking to the roads. During and after the storm, staff will be working 12-hour rotating shifts to plow roads and apply salt and sand.
Jason Elmore with the Virginia Department of Emergency Management said the agency has been in contact with the National Weather Service and VDOT. Elmore recommends that drivers stay off the roads during the inclement weather.
“We don’t want to have anyone get injured, have any accidents or anything like that,” Elmore said. “Try to stay at home as best you can.”
Localities and first responders are also bracing for winter weather.
In Richmond, the City’s Department of Public Works told 8News that it is in a full emergency, winter storm activation mode. Richmond crews are also treating the roads Friday and Saturday, with more than 100 city workers assigned to 60 different snow routes. They will spread out 7,500 tons of salt and 4,000 tons of salt and sand mix.
Over at Fire Station 3 in Henrico County, plows and brush trucks have been loaded up with supplies. Henrico Battalion Chief Doug Reynolds said there are specific auxiliary vehicles that are used in this type of weather.
“A lot of times they’ll take a line down call and that way we can reserve the big trucks for the fire and emergency calls,” Reynolds said.
The fire station has been testing equipment like chainsaws and generators and is focusing on staffing. Reynolds also said it’s important for residents to be preparing now at home also.
“Do little things now that’ll save you big problems later,” Reynold’s said. “Make sure that you have extra propane for your gas grill. “If you have a generator, make sure you go get gasoline for that.”
Here are some of the items officials say you should keep on hand:
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable foods
- First aid kit
- Fully charged cell phone
- A full tank of gas
If you lose power and need to warm up your home, Reynolds said your space heater needs to be at least three feet away from anything flammable.