HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — As the snow accumulated around Virginia and northeast North Carolina on Wednesday, so did the accidents.
Compared to the season’s first snowfall, the accumulation was lighter, but that hasn’t stopped the snow from leading to multiple crashes around the region.
A Virginia State Police trooper was involved in one of those crashes while investigating a separate accident on Interstate 64 at J. Clyde Morris Boulevard in Newport News just before 3:30 p.m. Police say a Honda Accord was driving too fast for road conditions and struck the trooper’s car from behind. The trooper is expected to be OK after the crash.
Meanwhile down in North Carolina, Dale Earnhardt Jr. even had trouble navigating the tricky conditions in his hometown of Mooresville. Earnhardt was helping a sedan that was stuck in the snow when he himself slid off the road and struck a tree.
“NC stay off the roads today/tonight. 5 minutes after helping these folks I center punched a pine tree,” warned the recently retired NASCAR driver.
The Newsoms Volunteer Fire Department said this Nissan Altima slid off the road into a ditch around 3:30 p.m. on Cypress Bridge Road in Southampton County. The driver suffered minor injuries.
To the west in Richmond, a car careened off an overpass onto railroad tracks just before 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. The passengers received non life-threatening injuries and were taken to the hospital.
VDOT says it spent most of Wednesday afternoon treating interstates and roadways with salt and other abrasive materials, but that resulting slush could still freeze and create dangerous driving conditions.
Local officials and VDOT are urging drivers to take extreme caution if they need to be out on the roadways.
On the Peninsula
Roads on the Peninsula were getting worse as of 6:30 p.m.
Secondary roads including Mercury Blvd., Jefferson Avenue, and J Clyde Morris Boulevard were getting slushy accumulation, and some vehicles were fishtailing.
Snow was sticking on the medians and the grassy areas.
Traffic on the Monitor-Merrimac was going about 30 miles an hour.
Drivers on I-64 westboundhad to deal with long delays, the result of accidents during rush hour.
Meanwhile, eastbound traffic on the interstate was moving along at about 45 miles an hour.
Snow began in the Williamsburg area around 11:30 a.m Wednesday. The snow was steady throughout the day, tapering off around 4 p.m..
Officials with the City of Williamsburg say crews put 2,000 gallons of brine on primary and secondary roads on Tuesday. They believe that brine held up well throughout the storm, with crews only needing to salt and sand small areas. The city has 400 tons of salt and sand at the ready, with 5 plows and street crews working 12 hour shifts.
In York County and James City County, VDOT clears their roads. City officials say their crews were placing equipment to clear parking lots and areas near city buildings.
10 on You Side’s Marielena Balouris spoke with some people who say they don’t mind the snow.
Anthony Paker, who lives in Williamsburg said, “It shuts everything down in Williamsburg because Williamsburg is not used to nothing, for winter snow everything shuts down. But you know other than that its nice.”
Wednesday marked the first day of classes at the College of William and Mary. One employee says crews spent all day Tuesday preparing the campus for students’ return. She also says she’s thankful the roads have stayed mostly clear.
Alice Manis said, “It’s annoying more than anything. Its not going to be bad enough to worry about, but working at the college, which I’m essential and we have it keep it clean and it’s the first day of class.”
Some schools, like those in the York County School Division are closed. 10 On Your Side spoke with the principal of York River Academy, who says the decision to close schools is made based on students’ safety.
“They have teams that go out and go through the various areas to make sure that they’re safe and also to coordinate with fire, emergency rescue, kind of folks, and also the weather to make sure we get the best idea of what was going to be happening,” said York River Academy Principal Walter Cross.
The snow first started fall in Newport News at 11:45 Wednesday morning. WAVY’s Andy Fox was there throughout the afternoon.
At Newport News Public Works, front end loaders were mixing sand and salt to be dumped into trucks to be spread once the snow hits the road.
Beulah Sutton from Yorktown is not so hip on the snow anymore, “I use to like it a whole lot better than I do now. The older I get, I don’t like it that much,” Sutton said with a laugh. “I just feel so cold, and I don’t feel like going out and doing what I use to do in the snow.”
We found the Ruder family and even the kids think maybe enough missed school already. Hunter says on the snow, “It sucks. We have exams coming up, so I have low grades and I need to get them up, so I’m trying to deal with this.”
We met J. Clyde Morris Food Lion worker Angela Edwards as she was scraping the snow off her car, “Oh it has been fun. We’ve been a little busy. It gets hectic, they are looking for salt. That’s what they are looking for and the snacks they are going to be stuck in the house.“
We also found Vietnam veteran Henry Patton waiting for the bus, “You want to hear about my day. It’s been rough Andy. It has been rough. All my buddies, the first thing I did I messed up my phone and knocked out all my contacts. I couldn’t call anyone to take me to the bus, I had to get there myself.”
The snow is expected to continue there through roughly 9 p.m.
WAVY’s Joe Fisher said slushy conditions were making it difficult to drive and see the lanes Wednesday evening in Virginia Beach.
Road conditions were better around downtown Norfolk, with only light amounts of slush on the roads, WAVY’s Kara Dixon reported around 6 p.m.
Norfolk Public Works crews are working 12 hour shifts to deal with snow.
They have 17 plows and 11 sprayers. The city is monitoring the weather and will deploy crews depending on conditions.
The city says it has replenished salt and sand used in the last storm. They have 450 tons of salt and 650 tons of sand.
On Tuesday, they treated the downtown area, primary roads, overpasses and bridges.
The city says it will not plow until there is two inches of snow on the ground.
They also do not plow residential streets because they are too narrow and do not want to damage property or their equipment.
The city says it is ready for whatever falls and are asking for residents, who do plan on driving, to watch out for plows if they are deployed.