COMSTOCK FOR DELEGATE BLOG
Winter Weather Advisory
Friday, February 5, 2010
By now you know we have a severe winter storm on the way. Governor McDonnell
has already declared a state of emergency. This declaration authorizes
state agencies to assist local governments responding to the storm.
Road crews and the National Guard will be prepared to respond.
Currently the weather warning extends from 10a.m. Friday morning
through late Saturday evening.
Given this situation, we want to work with you and VDOT to best address
the record snows, and identify problem areas wherever we might be able
to assist. I will be in touch with our VDOT personnel to keep them
apprised of the road and neighborhood conditions throughout the
district. Fairfax County DOT also is supposed to communicate with VDOT,
however, if you have a safety concern regarding a specific roadway or
situation, please feel free to email us at my office at: email@example.com
and we will also communicate those concerns directly with VDOT. You
can also directly communicate your concerns with VDOT at 703-383-8368
(non emergency number for 8a.m. — 5p.m. but they can also link you to
an urgent line if needed) or novainfo@VDOT.Virginia.gov.
Of course, power outages are also a possibility in these circumstances
so do keep safety numbers handy. Power outages can be called in to
888-667-3000. You can also get storm tips from Dominion Virginia Power
A constituent sent along some other helpful tips in the event of power
outages: cover a pile of wood with a tarp near your back door for the
fireplace (if you have one) and fill a bathtub with water.
As for snow removal, it is important to note that VDOT crews first
clear interstates, primary roads and routes that connect localities,
fire stations, employment hubs, military posts, schools, hospitals and
other important public facilities. They will then treat secondary roads
and subdivision streets, but crews will focus efforts on roads carrying
the most traffic. For residential streets, it is not VDOT's practice to
plow curb-to-curb, nor to bare pavement. VDOT has more than 1,700
plows, spreaders and other pieces of
equipment that will be working the storm in northern Virginia if
needed. VDOT crews do end up working around the clock through the storm
with the goal of having all roads passable within 48 hours after a
storm ends. Of course with record storms such as what is expected
today, as well as the storm we had in December, meeting these goals are
For updates on road conditions, as well as real-time weather
conditions, traffic incidents and traffic camera video, you can also
visit www.511Virginia.org. For overall winter weather information,
VDOT's Web site includes frequently asked questions, driving tips and
tools for motorists to learn more about VDOT's winter preparedness at http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/snow.asp.
Another resource that I always value for local information is Sharon
Rainey's "My Neighbors Network" which can be found at: http://www.myneighborsnetwork.com
. For those not familiar with the network, it began in 2000 in Great
Falls. The network shares information on the website and through emails
about just about anything going on in our community -- community
events, car accidents, traffic, school closings, crime situations,
health information, as well as referring outstanding local businesses
to one another. Participants share information with the network and the
network often is the first to let you know about a car accident in our
community or a particular need for a family or business in our
community. This is a great new media tool right in our local community
to stay on top of local developments.
For more information about Virginia's efforts to prepare for winter
weather and other emergencies, visit www.ReadyVirginia.gov.
The National Weather Service, Virginia Department of Emergency
Management, Virginia Department of Social Services and other state
agencies have created the "Ready Virginia" resource to
provide residents and visitors with a one-stop shop for emergency
preparedness tips and information.
You can also visit my website at www.delegatecomstock.com
for updates. Keep in touch and be careful this weekend.