LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Three months after several major snowstorms blew through Virginia, cleanup crews are still working on picking up record-breaking amounts of debris from local roads.
Sharon Ketcham, a Communications Coordinator with the Virginia Department of Transportation, said the trees, brush and other forms of woody materials leftover from the January storms –primarily “the big one” on January 3– amount to an “unprecedented amount of debris.”
According to the Virginia Agency After-Action Report released on Friday, April 1, “In Louisa and Goochland Counties, officials observed that tree damage was comparable to that which occurred during Hurricane Isabel.”
VDOT went on to explain it is estimated that the company will eventually clear at least 850,000 cubic yards of debris around the Commonwealth. Comparatively, after the 2012 derecho that tore through 10 states –clocking winds as strong as a Category 1 hurricane and leaving 4.2 million customers without power– VDOT recovered 120,000 cubic yards of debris.
The After-Action Report cites the heavy, wet snowfall and heavy rain in the days before the snow for the number of trees that fell and blocked roadways.
Around 400,000 Dominion customers were left without power due to downed power lines.
As of Sunday, April 3, VDOT said crews had removed a total of 614,118 cubic yards of debris, equaling 13,549 truckloads of material from around the Commonwealth.
The estimated breakdown of debris:
- Louisa County: 229,377 cubic yards
- Interstate 64: 195,000 cubic yards
- Albemarle County: 125,000 cubic yards
- Fluvanna County: More than 50,000 cubic yards
- Fauquier and Orange Counties: More than 5,000 cubic yards
In its continuing effort to clean up the destruction left after the January snowstorms, VDOT will be working on I-64 in Louisa County from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, April 4 through Friday, April 8.
Drivers should expect left lane closures between mile markers 131 and 138 in Louisa.
Road conditions and other real-time travel information can be found on the 511 Virginia website, the free VDOT 511 mobile app or by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia. VDOT updates are also on Facebook.