Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Prepare for the Storm and Stay Off the Roads

With heavy, wet snow and gusty winds in the forecast, Loudoun County officials remind everyone to prepare for possible power outages. Here are some things to do ahead of the storm:
  • Charge cellphones. Cordless phones don’t work when power is out.
  • Make sure you have working flashlights. Stock up on batteries.
  • Check that your battery-powered radio is operating.
  • Stock up on nonperishable food and water. Include a non-electric can opener.
  • Unplug TVs, DVD/ VCR players, microwave ovens, and computers to protect them from power surges that can occur from trees and limbs contacting power lines.
Stay Off the Roads
If you need to travel tonight through Wednesday night, take plenty of extra time to reach your destination. Ensure you have an emergency kit in your trunk.

By 4 a.m. tomorrow morning, the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) reports they will have deployed more than 4,000 salt trucks and plows throughout Northern Virginia in preparation for up to a foot of wet, heavy snow. Emergency tree contractors also are on standby as strong winds could bring down trees and power lines.

“We are urging commuters to stay off the road on Wednesday and let our crews clear the roads,” said VDOT maintenance engineer Branco Vlacich. “Roads likely will be treacherous at times.”

VDOT encourages motorists to use caution when driving during wintry weather. Drivers should:
  • Check current weather, road conditions and traffic before traveling at www.511Virginia.org or by calling 511
  • Slow down and allow for extra time to reach your destination
  • Be aware of potentially icy areas such as shady spots and bridges
  • Keep a safe distance of at least five seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road

Report any road problems to 1-800-FOR-ROAD or novainfo@vdot.virginia.gov. To check the status of snow plows, visit VDOT's interactive map, which is activating once two inches of snow falls.

If you have not already done so, you may sign up for alerts from the county, including emergency information, news releases, traffic information and more, through Alert Loudoun at www.loudoun.gov/alert.

More information about winter weather preparedness, including information specific to this weather event, is online at www.loudoun.gov/winter.

   For the latest Loudoun County traffic news and information, subscribe to Loudoun County Traffic via your favorite RSS reader, or get Loudoun County Traffic by e-mail.

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