Evening Update On Winter Storm
While it appears that the worst of the storm is to the west of our area, please be aware that slushy, wet roads could become icy overnight and through tomorrow morning. Northern Virginia crews will continue treating roads through the morning rush. Please remain cautious if you are traveling tonight and tomorrow morning.
As always, we will be monitoring events as they occur and get you updated information from VDOT, Dominion Power, local officials and others. Please share this newsletter and info with friends and/or follow us on Facebook as the situation develops.
Governor Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency this morning. This authorizes state agencies to assist local governments in responding to the storm. A full text version of his statement is available here.
The Virginia Department of Emergency Management is coordinating response at the state level, including holding conference calls with the National Weather Service, local governments and other state agencies.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has 2,424 pieces of state equipment, 7,144 pieces of hired equipment and 818 pieces of interstate contractor equipment available for snow removal. VDOT also has 335,000 tons of salt and 125,000 tons of sand and abrasives on hand. VDOT's goal is to have all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after a winter storm ends.
From midnight through 10 a.m. Wednesday, Virginia State Police fielded 1,346 calls for service, including more than 367 traffic crashes and 237 disabled vehicles. Majority of crashes involve damaged vehicles only. No traffic fatalities have been reported.
The Virginia National Guard is staging personnel to support Virginia State Police in snow response. The VNG has been authorized to bring up to 200 personnel on state active duty. At this point, two groups of 50 personnel will be staged in northern and central Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Health is coordinating with hospitals and local emergency services departments.
Power and telecommunications providers are coordinating storm preparations with the Virginia Emergency Operations Center.
How You Can Help
Get where you need to be before the weather gets bad. If possible, delay travel to allow VDOT crews to clear the roads. If you must drive, wear a seatbelt.
Get current road condition information by calling 511 or visitingwww.511Virginia.org
Make sure you have essential supplies on hand: at least three days of food that does not require refrigeration or electricity to prepare; at least three days of water (one gallon per person per day); a battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio to get information from local media; a family emergency plan.www.ReadyVirginia.gov
As power outages are likely as the winds pick up over the next few hours, please be sure to charge all laptops, cellphones and other electronic devices.
If you lose power, call your power company to report it.
Do not operate generators indoors. Follow manufacturer's directions exactly.
Only call 911 for life-threatening emergencies.
Bring pets inside during the storm.
The Virginia Department of Transportation handles snow removal on most roads in Fairfax County and Loudoun County.
If you're wondering about the status of plowing on major and secondary roads, check out VDOT's new snow plowing map
Reporting Power Outages
Dominion Virginia Power: 1-866-DOM-HELP (366-4357) orwww.dom.com. Also, customers may track power outages in their area by viewing the Interactive Electric Outage Map.
As of 1:30 p.m., Dominion reported approximately 110,000 outages. The great majority of those (more than 82,000) are in the Shenandoah Valley or Western Piedmont.
There are just over 14,000 outages in Northern Virginia and approximately 9,300 outages in the Richmond area. Dominion's entire team, supplemented by outside resources, is mobilized and responding to the outages. They have more than 4,200 personnel working on the response and 520 bucket trucks.
PEPCO: 1-877-PEPCO-62 (737-2662) or www.pepco.com
If a tree hits your home:
- Get everyone safely out of your house. Go to a nearby shelter (another home or open public facility) to stay dry and out of the elements.
- Use your cell phone or go to a neighbor and call 9-1-1.
- Stay away from the home until public safety employees can access the home for structural stability and ensure utilities are controlled.
- Only after all of these safety measures have taken place should you call your insurance company.
For downed trees near roads or not into a home:
Adjacent to Public Roads
- Contact Virginia Department of Transportation at 1-800-FOR-ROAD, TTY 711.
- Removal is the property owner's responsibility.
Other Important Emergency Contact Information
2-1-1 Virginia is serving as the public inquiry number for Virginia residents.
5-1-1 is to be used for the latest in road conditions
#77 on a cell phone to report a traffic crash or traffic emergency
Only call 9-1-1 in a true emergency.
Fairfax County non emergency number: 703-691-2131
Loudoun County non emergency number: 703-777-1021
As always, during every storm, please do not hesitate to email me at email@example.com or call me at (703) 772-7168 if you are having issues regarding either plowing or storm outages. I hope this will be a non-event winter in terms ofweather, but it is necessary to be prepared.
I try to be accessible to my constituents in as many ways as possible. For more information, please visit my website,www.delegatecomstock.com, where you can read my blog for up-to-date information on Virginia, click to follow me on Facebook, (www.facebook.com/BarbaraComstockVA) or Twitter, (www.twitter.com/BarbaraComstock).