Please be aware that a snowstorm is expected to impact Northern Virginia beginning tonight.
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm warning from 12:00 AM March 3, until 6:00 PM March 3, for Northern Virginia with six to nine inches of snow forecast. Freezing rain and sleet are expected to turn to snow between 2:00 AM and 5:00 AM Monday morning and could be heavy at times. Winds of up to 15 mph are forecast.
I would like to take this opportunity to provide you with some information that will help you and your family prepare for the winter weather and possible power outages.
Snow Removal Tips
To make the snow removal process easier, VDOT has a few recommendations and reminders for local citizens:
1. When shoveling your own sidewalk/driveway, leave at least 5 feet of snow from the curb until after the plow has passed through.
2. Park your car on the odd numbered side of the street or in driveways. The more cars are parked on the street, the less amount of snow is able to be plowed.
3. Stay off the road if there are reports of a storm. Abandoned cars are one of the biggest obstacles to the plowing process.
4. Remember that it is harder for crews to plow packed snow and especially ice. Don't expect to be able to see black pavement once the plow comes through.
5. The goal is to make all roads one lane passable, not clear them completely of snow.
Virginia Department of Transportation
Road priorities and neighborhood snow plow tracker:
- VDOT has activated a web-based neighborhood tracking map that monitors the status of plowing in Northern Virginia neighborhoods when it snows two inches or more. Please visit, www.vdotplows.org.
- VDOT's goal is to have all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after a winter storm ends.
- Crews first begin clearing roads with the highest traffic volumes - interstates and primary roads and then major secondary roads followed by subdivision streets.
- A statewide network of 77 weather sensors in roadways and bridges, plus 16 mobile video data platforms, allows crews to quickly identify when and where road surfaces might be freezing.
Winter weather driving tips and other preparations:
- Stay off the roads and allow VDOT to do their job. Most traffic accidents happen within the first 2 hours after a storm starts.
- Do NOT pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary. Treat these as you would emergency response vehicles.
- Monitor your local news sources for the latestweather conditions.
- Prepare your car for winter driving conditions, including having an emergency kit in your car.
- Prepare your home for winter weather conditions in case of power outages.
- Before getting behind the wheel, call 511, go to www.511virginia.org or download the 511 mobile app to get the latest road condition information.
- You can also call 800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623)to report road hazards or ask road-related questions at VDOT's 24-hour Customer Service Center.
- When driving, give yourself extra time to reach your destination, leave plenty of driving room between you and the vehicle ahead and slow down.
- Remember VDOT is not responsible for clearing sidewalks; residents are encouraged to clear sidewalks, especially those close to schools.
- Avoid parking on the street, but if you have to park your car on the street.
Important Telephone Numbers
Emergency contact information for reporting utility outages as well as general information is as follows:
Police non-emergency numbers are:
NEW APP- Dominion has implemented several steps that will make it faster and easier for customers to report outages and check on their status when using Dominion's web site, www.dom.com, via their computers, smartphones or other mobile devices.
To report outages through one of these devices, customers need to provide:
- A 10-digit telephone number associated with the account
- The last four digits of their Social Security number, federal tax identification number, or PIN.
This information will be used to confirm the outages' locations. Customers will also be asked for contact information to enable Dominion to obtain additional details regarding the outage if necessary. Additionally, customers using smartphones will be automatically directed to a mobile website through which they can obtain outage updates and view power outages by city and county.
Customers who lose power can also report the outages through Dominion's toll-free customer service line, 1-866-DOM-HELP(1-866-366-4357
). The company will also issue periodic updates on Facebook and Twitter (DomVaPower). Customers may also track power outages in their area by viewing Dominion's Interactive Electric Outage map, which is shown below and available here.