Roads continue thawing out after winter storm

WAVY/Jason Marks

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Roads across Southside and Peninsula areas of Hampton Roads thawed out Wednesday as temperatures warmed up from last weekend’s winter storm.

The storm brought widespread snowfall and wintry mixes to the region, and has resulted in school closures as well as local service disruptions.

Photos: Region hit with first 2017 winter storm

Secondary and residential roads in many areas were a mess in the immediate aftermath of 2017’s first winter storm. City services began to reopen Tuesday.


Crews continued to clean up slushy roads and remaining icy spots, mostly in shaded areas, city officials said. Road conditions improved considerably and crews returned to regular work shifts. Equipment was scheduled to be washed down. Crews put down 499 tons of salt, 797 tons of sand and 2,995 tons of abrasive salt/sand mix, according to city officials.


Main roads in Norfolk were clear as crews cleaned up and removed plows from trucks. The city used approximately 1,100 tons of salt and 800 tons of sand, according to a spokesperson for Public Works.


Priority roads in Newport News were clear Wednesday as crews worked on secondary streets. The city used 2,000 tons of sand/salt mix during the storm, city officials said. Crews planned to remove plows from trucks on Thursday.


Crews used 3,100 tons of salt and sand during the storm, officials said.  From Friday to Monday, the city had 79 reports of disabled vehicles and 23 reports of crashes, according to officials.


Crews in Virginia Beach spent Wednesday resupplying a salt and sand mixture and hosing down trucks. The city used more than 3,000 tons of salt, going over 900 lane miles, officials said. Operations Superintendent Jim Huntington said the storm proved to be challenging for the crews.

“Our problems were the fact that all of us suffered with that freezing temperature…We retreated these roads over and over many times, but it wouldn’t break loose, particularly at night. You know, the sun went down, temperatures went lower and it did nothing until the sun hit it the next day,” Huntington said.


Hampton’s operations center was busy Wednesday as trucks unloaded 1,500 tons of salt into a storage facility and cleaned vehicles. The city used 1,800 tons of salt during the storm, according to Communications Coordinator, Fred Gaskins.

“They’ve worked very hard and they always work hard, but we think that this time, this snow was a bit more problematic, and we think they did a great job,” Gaskins said.


Latest storm numbers from Portsmouth were not immediately available Wednesday.


From 12:00 a.m. Saturday to 6:00 p.m. Sunday, troopers responded to 162 traffic crashes and 520 disabled vehicles in District V, which includes Hampton Roads, authorities said.


VDOT Hampton Roads used approximately 10,500 tons of salt across the district during the storm and had 20,000 tons left for future storms, according to a spokesperson.

Video: Drone 10 flies above snowy downtown Portsmouth