HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — A winter storm brought a strong mix of snow, freezing rain and sleet across Hampton Roads and northeast North Carolina Saturday — causing a number of problems in the process, especially on area roads.
The first winter storm of 2017 also caused thousands of outages across the area, largely in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Click here to report and check Dominion Virginia Power outages.
Southside Hampton Roads, the Peninsula and Middle Peninsula saw widespread snowfall Saturday, with parts of the viewing area seeing blizzard-like conditions. A blizzard warning was issued Friday for parts of the viewing area.
In Norfolk, the MacArthur Center closed Saturday and will be closed until further notice. Norfolk International Airport announced that all flights coming in and going out are either delayed or cancelled.
Due to #WinterStormHelena, inmate visitation has been CANCELLED for Sunday, Jan. 8.
— VB Sheriff’s Office (@VBSO) January 7, 2017
Major school systems including Hampton, Newport News and Portsmouth have announced that they will be closed Monday and Tuesday. Get the latest on closings and delays here. ODU, CNU and NSU have cancelled classes through Monday. Get the latest on college closings here.
Snow picked up Virginia Beach and started to accumulate in the later hours of the morning. Plow trucks were seen going through streets around every 20 minutes — focusing on the main roads — but there was still a strong amount on the ground before the sun was up.
On the Peninsula, snow was whipping around in Hampton. 10 On Your Side’s Liz Kilmer is reporting that parts of Hampton saw up to 11 inches of snow. According to police in Hampton, officers have responded to 83 disabled vehicles Saturday. Police are urging people to stay off the roads, disabled vehicles make it difficult for plows to maneuver.
10 On Your Side’s Matt Gregory is reporting that Williamsburg officials estimated they found 10 inches or more in some parts of the area. By the evening, most of the main roads had been plowed. Plow trucks pushed through the area around William & Mary and Colonial Williamsburg. However, most neighborhood streets and back-roads have not been touched.
Other areas, including Chesapeake and Portsmouth as well as Isle of Wight, were also covered in snow Saturday.
10 On Your Side’s Joe Fisher reports that roads in Chesapeake, particularly Battlefield Boulevard, were covered in sheets of ice and snow. Police in Chesapeake say that they attended to about 30 disabled vehicles.
Per City policy, tolls on the Chesapeake Expy are lifted due to conditions & for staff safety. Travel is hazardous; stay off the roadways.
— City of Chesapeake (@AboutChesapeake) January 7, 2017
According to Portsmouth city officials, Public Works crews have treated and plowed the primary roads. You can check out the city’s snow removal map here.
Drivers are being advised to stay home and off of area roadways.
Conditions on the roads deteriorated as the winter storm continued to dump snow, sleet and freezing on the roads. Everything that is on the roads is expected to freeze overnight.
Anticipation for the storm prompted Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe to declare a state of emergency for the entire Commonwealth.
Officials in city and state agencies across southeastern Virginia and North Carolina noted in the days leading up to the storm that they were ready for expected snowfall amounts.
The largest snowfall amount was seen in Seaford, Gloucester Point and Williamsburg with 13 inches. Newport News saw 11 inches, while 10.5 inches feel in West Ocean View of Norfolk. See the area totals in the latest WAVY Weather Blog.
10 On Your Side’s Andy Fox is reporting that Virginia Beach only saw about 4-6 inches of snow.
Winds were a factor during Saturday’s snowfall, with gusts in the 30-35 mph range in some areas. The conditions combined to create areas of low visibility. Overnight, wind speeds are expected to reduce to 10-20 mph.
Despite plenty of sunshine on Sunday, it’ll remain cold through the afternoon with highs only in the mid-20s.
North Carolina was slammed with winter weather Saturday, some of which began as sleet and freezing rain. Gov. Roy Cooper said Saturday that NC Highway Patrol responded to hundreds of crashes statewide.
In the event of any storm-related outages, contact Dominion Virginia Power and check their outage map for live updates:
WAVY’s team of Super Doppler 10 meteorologists is closely following the models, and will have full updates on WAVY.com and on WAVY News 10. If you haven’t already, download the WAVY Weather App to get updates wherever you are.