HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — The magnitude of a second winter storm in little more than a week hit the Peninsula Tuesday evening. While road crews continue to clear snow and ice, most primary roadways are passable.
Because of winter weather conditions, the City of Hampton declared a local state of emergency Wednesday, which will allow the city to track storm expenditures for possible reimbursement if a federal declaration is made.
More than 30 trucks worked through the night Tuesday to clear at least one lane on every major roadway in the city. So far, Road crews have dropped 300 tons of salt and 20,000 gallons of brine on city roads.
Wednesday evening, Hampton City Spokesperson Robin McCormick said most primary roads were relatively clear, like Kecoughtan, Pembroke, Settler’s Landing, Mercury, LaSalle, Old Buckroe and Nickerson. Most secondary and residential streets are not clear. McCormick said crews will continue to clear roads, working in teams to drop salt and then scrape up ice.
Since the beginning of the winter storm, the Hampton Police Division has responded to 155 storm related complaints and at least 181 disabled vehicles, six vehicle crashes, two with injuries. The Hampton Fire Department has handled 10 of those complaints.
The city still urges residents to stay off the roads, if at all possible.
Hampton and Newport News public schools are closed Thursday — click here for the latest closings and delays list.
The city of Newport News also declared a local state of emergency, but on Tuesday evening — a little earlier than Hampton. As of Wednesday evening, the city said it would observe normal operating hours on Thursday, with the exception of public schools.
Earlier in the evening, both primary and some secondary roads were reported as passable, WAVY’s Lauren Compton reports. Kenny Holloway with Newport News Public Works said nine trucks are spreading salt and sand and 17 snow plows are still working to clear roads.
“We will work on [the roads] until the shift change tonight at 7 p.m. and then continue on throughout the night,” Holloway said.
It’s estimated about 1,000 gallons of brine solution were used to pretreat roads in the City. Crews with the Newport News Street Maintenance Division started their 12-hour shifts clearing roads at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
“We’re going to focus on what we call ‘priority one’ roads which are roads, bridges, because that is what freezes up first,” said Master Truck Operator Jimmy Steen on Tuesday evening.
Newport News streets are divided into three different priorities:
- Priority One — these are hills, bridges, underpasses, etc., which normally are the first areas to freeze. These will be the first streets addressed when snow/ice occurs.
- Priority Two — these are arterial and major collector streets and will be addressed once all of priority one locations are completed.
- Priority Three — these are collector streets, which normally have moderate traffic volume and should be addressed after all priority one and two locations are completed.
Newport News snow plows do not have the capacity to plow residential roads, but they aren’t the only ones on the road. Tow truck driver Michael Keith said snow days keep them busy, too.
“We get all kinds of accidents usually over the embankments, into a ditch or people losing control and going off the road,” said Keith. “Sometimes people are hurt and sometimes they are not. Hopefully everyone will stay home and stay safe.”
City Council meetings in Newport News have been postponed until Feb. 11.
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