VDOT advises drivers of flooded streets, downed trees and road closures

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Department of Transportation is advising drivers to take the precautions for road hazards as crews work to clear roads of debris.

VDOT says approximately 180 roads in the region are closed due to flooding or downed trees/power lines and repairs may be lengthy at some locations.

With that said, officials say VDOT crews worked through the night and continue Friday morning to clear roads. They are also working with utility crews to clear the roads of downed power lines.

VDOT says delaying travel, if possible, will allow their crews to faster access to those areas hit hardest by the storm.

Officials are also advising travelers that several roads in Central Virginia remain closed due to flooding or downed trees.

“Do not move or drive around Road Closed signs even if water no longer covers the road,” officials wrote on Twitter. “The roadway could be damaged and unsafe. Our crews must inspect the road before it can be reopened.”

Officials say if you must travel, give yourself plenty of extra travel time and be prepared for possible detours. They are also reminding motorists to slow their speed and always wear their seatbelts.

Law enforcement officials are also reminding drivers to stop at intersections that have traffic lights out.

VDOT offered these travel tips:

  • If a traffic signal is out, drivers are advised to treat the intersection as a four-way stop.
  • Never drive through water flowing across a road. It takes only six to 12 inches of water to float a small vehicle.
  • Never drive around barricades. Remember, the road has been closed for your safety.
  • Slow down when driving through standing water. Driving too fast through water could cause you to lose control and hydroplane.
  • Avoid flood-prone areas, especially along creeks and other low-lying areas. Water in those areas can rise quickly and without warning during heavy rains.
  • In the event of a flash flood warning for your area, seek high ground immediately.
  • Watch for debris on the roadway. If you encounter a downed power line, do not try to move the line. Downed trees may contain power lines. Contact VDOT or Dominion Virginia Power.
  • If involved in a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

For the latest in road conditions and closures, call 511 or go to www.511virginia.org.