Monday snowfall leaves behind slushy roads

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Road crews were mobilized around the area in a push to make things safer for Tuesday morning commutes.

Hampton City officials said crews were out on the roads, putting sand and salt down. They worked to clear slush off of the roads and will work overnight until things clear up.

The precipitation — specifically the snow — appeared surprising from a system that was forecast to bring a brief wintry mix Monday evening before a change-over to rain.

Meteorologist Jeremy Wheeler reports the rain Monday evening became heavy — which dragged the cold air down, allowing the snow to in turn become heavy.

This dropped the air temperature to 32 degrees in about an hour. As a result the snow stuck to the ground and roads, despite the fact that ground temperatures were above 40 degrees.

Since the ground was still warmer, there was some overnight melting.

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10 On Your Side spoke with Hampton residents, some who were surprised by all of the snow.

“It is very crazy to me,” said Kerwin Gilliam. “I did not expect for it to be this way. I was at work and I saw snowballs coming down and I was like ‘seriously?’.”

Officials with Virginia Beach Public Works say standby crews were called in to sand and salt the roads.

A few people walked the boardwalk at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront Monday evening.

Two kite surfers went into the water. One told 10 On Your Side the wind is ideal for their sport.

“We check the wind meters and when the forecast hits certain points, we’re all communicating with each other,” said Will Sizemore. “We saw it was spiking up today, so we made plans.”

Crews were also out in Newport News, Norfolk and Suffolk on Monday night and Tuesday morning getting the roads ready.

VDOT is reminding motorists to be especially careful Tuesday morning when traveling on bridges, ramps, overpasses, hills and curves.

Click here for current road conditions. VDOT’s customer service center can also take reports of severe road conditions and answer questions around the clock at (800) FOR-ROAD.

AAA is offering the following tips for drivers:

1. Don’t continue at the same speed you would be traveling in clear, dry conditions

  • Rain, snow and ice can dramatically reduce your tires’ traction
  • Drivers should slow down to regain the traction that is lost due to the weather

2. Do not brake and turn at the same time

  • Asking your vehicle to do two things at a time makes it more likely that your tires will lose traction
  • Brake first, then turn, then accelerate.

3. Don’t follow behind other vehicles as closely as you would when driving in clear, dry conditions

  • Slick roads means your vehicle cannot slow down as quickly.
  • Increase following distances to a minimum of 5-6 seconds.
  • Always keep open space to at least one side of your vehicle, in case you need make an emergency lane change maneuver.

4. Don’t be rough with your steering, acceleration and braking.

  • If you are not gentle with steering, acceleration and braking, your vehicle’s balance can be negatively affected, increasing the chance of experiencing a skid.
  • Always steer, accelerate and brake smoothly.

5. Don’t hit the brakes if you start to skid

  • Slamming on the brakes can make the skid even worse

6. Don’t stop if you can avoid it.

  • There’s a big difference in the amount of inertia it takes to start moving from a full stop versus how much it takes to get moving while still rolling. If you can slow down enough to keep rolling until a traffic light changes, do it.

7. Don’t power up hills.

  • Applying extra gas on snow-covered roads may only result in spinning your wheels. Try to get a little inertia going before you reach the hill and let that inertia carry you to the top. As you reach the crest of the hill, reduce your speed and proceed downhill as slowly as possible.

8. Don’t stop going up a hill.

  • It’s difficult to move up a hill on an icy road. If possible, get your vehicle moving on a flat roadway first before taking on a hill.