The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
VDOT, power crews ready for snow
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Road and power crews spent Tuesday preparing for a big late winter snowstorm.
By 9:30 Tuesday evening, snow was already reported throughout much of the region.
The snowfall is expected to continue through Wednesday night, according to the National Weather Service, which issued a Winter Storm Warning for the region. Snow may mix with or change over to rain at times.
The latest forecasts for the immediate Fredericksburg region call for a total of 4 to 8 inches of snow.
The storm could create more problems farther west. Forecasts called for up to 16 inches in the higher elevations along the Blue Ridge Mountains with winds reaching 40 mph today.
With the wind and the expectation that the snow will be wet and heavy, there are concerns about power outages.
Local power companies said Tuesday they had called in extra crews and were ready to respond.
“Wet snow is the worst kind for knocking trees down onto power lines,” said Larry Shaffer, vice president of system operations for the Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative, which serves some of Stafford and Fauquier counties.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has contractors on standby in case trees or power lines fall into roadways.
In the Fredericksburg region, VDOT’s road crews started preparing on Tuesday and were put on a 24-hour emergency operation schedule at 8 p.m., according to spokeswoman Kelly Hannon.
The highway department has 462 pieces of “hired” equipment, along with 50 trucks dedicated to Interstate 95, ready to clear the roads should snow fall. Salt, sand and chemical supplies are fully stocked.
VDOT recommends that when snow accumulates, people stay at home if possible so crews can clear the roads.
Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436