The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
VDOT crews prepping for snow
The Virginia Department of Transportation is preparing the area’s roads for the snow the area is expecting later today.
Crews in the Fredericksburg district will begin 24-hour emergency operations today at noon, according to a news release.
VDOT will have nearly 900 pieces of equipment available to remove snow from roads, apply sand, salt and other chemicals in the Fredericksburg district and there are 35 trucks available to target Interstate 95, according to the release.
Drivers should stay alert for slick or icy road conditions, especially on bridges, ranps and overpasses.
Drivers can call 511, visit the 511 website, or use the free mobile app to find real-time road conditions in any area of the state.
The roads will be listed as one of four conditions:
Clear = no conditions
Minor = bare pavement, except for isolated spots of snow, ice or slush
Moderate = snow or ice is covering major portions of the roadway
Severe = significant amount of snow or ice is covering the roadway and roadway may be partially blocked or affected by drifting snow
Here are driving tips from VDOT:
- Keep the car’s windows, mirrors and lights clear of snow and ice
- Always wear your seat belt
- Leave a few minutes early
- Start out slowly in the lowest gear recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer
- 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
- Don’t pass a snowplow or spreader unless absolutely necessary-they should be treated like emergency response vehicles
- Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car
Here are five “last minute common sense” tips from AAA:
- Dress as if you were going to be stranded. It can get very cold in a car on the side of the road waiting for help. Be sure to have extra blankets and to insist that children who may be traveling with you do the same.
- Open the garage door before starting the car to prevent carbon monoxide build up. It is easy to lose track of time and carbon monoxide is almost impossible to detect and can be fatal when breathed in a confined area.
- Bring your vehicle clearing supplies, such as your ice scraper, snow shovels, and deicer spray, inside. The very best prepared motorists will be frustrated to wake up and find all of their supplies frozen inside the car.
- Check your antifreeze to ensure it will withstand the winter cold, using a 50/50 mixture of coolant and water to protect against freezing.
- Never pour hot water on door locks or windows to deice them, as they may crack. Frozen door locks can be overcome by carefully heating the end of a key with a match or lighter. A squirt of de-icer spray is another quick method.