Rain, wintry mix falls on Hampton Roads

WAVY/Jason Marks

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — As a winter storm pounded areas up and down the East Coast with snow, Hampton Roads saw a soggy morning and a wintry mix into the afternoon and evening Thursday.

The Super Doppler 10 Weather Team says light rain has changed over to a wintry mix and, in some areas of Hampton Roads, a heavy, wet snow. They wintry mix should turn into scattered light snow showers through the evening, with possible pockets of moderate snowfall. The snowfall is expected to taper off from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., ending by midnight.

On the Peninsula in Newport News, WAVY’s Jason Marks reported moderate snowfall began around 6:15 p.m., but wasn’t accumulating on roads. City public works crews said their main concern on Thursday was dropping temperatures overnight turning the moisture to ice.

WAVY’s Art Kohn reported light rain on the Southside around 5 p.m. The temperature was slightly above freezing. Virginia Beach Public Works spokesman Drew Lankford said  crews have used 4,500 tons of salt and sand during the winter storms this season and have 2,550 tons available for the current storm.

Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller told WAVY.com between 4 p.m. Wednesday and 8 p.m. Thursday, troopers with the Chesapeake Division responded to 223 vehicle crashes and 112 disabled vehicles. In the Richmond Division, troopers responded to 430 vehicle crashes and 205 disabled vehicles.

State Police advise drivers to stay off the roads if at all possible, until weather conditions improve. If you do have to travel, here are some driving tips they suggest:

  • State law requires headlights to be on when windshield wipers are in active use
  • Completely clear all windows and head/taillights of snow/ice before traveling
  • Add extra time to reach travel destination
  • Slow your speed for road conditions
  • Increase driving distances between vehicles for increased stopping distance
  • Do not tailgate snow plows or sand trucks
  • Always Buckle up and ensure your passengers are buckled up as well
  • Do not drive distracted
  • If your vehicle begins to hydroplane steer your vehicle in the direction you want your vehicle to go
  • Brake and accelerate lightly
  • Plan ahead before you travel by calling 511 for road conditions or click on http://www.511virginia.org – Do not call 911 or #77, as these are for emergency calls only
  • Have a charged cell phone and extra blankets, water, snacks in case your vehicle becomes disabled
  • Know your location to give to an emergency dispatcher to include the direction of travel in case you need emergency response. Use exit numbers or mile markers when on the interstate as points of reference (For example, Interstate 95 northbound at the 80 mile marker.)
  • Motorists are also reminded to comply with Virginia’s “Move Over” law, which requires drivers to change to another travel lane or, when not able to, to cautiously pass emergency personnel stopped on the side of the road. State law includes highway maintenance vehicles and tow trucks equipped with flashing amber lights.

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