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Governor McAuliffe declares State of Emergency ahead of winter weather

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RICHMOND, Va. — With forecasts calling for up to 8 inches of snow in some portions of Virginia Monday through Tuesday, Governor Terry McAuliffe has declared a state of emergency.

McAuliffe’s order authorizes state agencies to assist local governments as they prepare and respond to the coming winter weather over the next 24 hours.

Northern and northwestern Virginia are expected to see the heaviest snow totals between 4 to 8 inches.

“With this forecast in mind, all Virginians should take the necessary precautions now to ensure they are prepared for travel disruptions and possible power outages during a cold weather period,” said McAuliffe.

Meteorologist Mike Goldberg said he expects little or no accumulation in the Richmond area.

“The Richmond metro area will see the bulk of the heavier precipitation in the form of rain, but some mix or snow will be possible both Monday evening and again Tuesday morning,” said Goldberg. For more on his forecast, click here.

VDOT officials said they are prepared to treat Virginia roads in advance of the storm and will work throughout the storm to plow roads.

“Driving conditions during the storm are expected to be hazardous and motorists are urged to stay off the roads until the storm passes,” said Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne.

Under the declaration, the Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring up to 200 personnel to be staged across Northern Virginia to support requests for assistance.

Here are some tips for residents affected by the winter storm:

  • Stay off the roads during the storm unless travel is absolutely necessary. If travel is necessary, drive with caution and allow extra space around other vehicles.
  • Use extreme caution around slow-moving equipment being used to treat roads, such as snow plows.
  • If you have electric-dependent medical equipment, make sure all primary and backup batteries are fully charged. Make sure you have the medical supplies you will need for at least 72 hours.
  • If you receive dialysis treatments or have other critical medical appointments during the week, make plans now for transportation or reschedule if possible.
  • Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter and is in safe driving condition. Keep an emergency kit in your car. Include items such as jumper cables, blankets, first aid kit, water, non-perishable food, cat litter or sand, shovel, flash light and batteries, ice scraper and cell phone charger.
  • Check on elderly or neighbors who are unable to leave their homes, family, and friends to ensure they are ready for this storm and any possible inconveniences or interruptions that may result.
  • Bring pets inside from the cold.
  • Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours, in case roads are blocked and/or there are power outages.
  • Have a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and extra batteries for emergency information. Listen to local weather forecasts and instructions from local officials.

If you need help, information or resources during the storm, call 211. Those with hearing impairments can call 711 for the Virginia Relay Center and then call 1-800-230-6977. Out of state or videophone users may also dial 1-800-230-6977 for assistance.