VDOT is preparing for Wednesday’s winter blast: ‘We’ll be going 24/7’

RICHMOND, Va. -- Winter weather is on its way to Virginia and that could make for dangerous driving conditions. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), among with Dominion Energy, and AAA suggest you spend part of your day preparing for Wednesday's winter blast.

"We’re looking at the northern and northwest part of the Richmond Metro area to get the most significant impact from the weather," VDOT spokesperson Bob Spieldenner, said. "So we’re going to have additional crews poised and ready to go at that area."

VDOT began pre-treating primary roads across the region Monday night, Spieldenner said, laying down a brine solution to keep ice from forming.

"We’ll be going 24/7. As long as we need," he added said.

But VDOT crews were not the only ones who should be preparing, AAA spokesperson Tammy Arnette said.

"This is not a normal day on the roads," she advised.

Arnette recommended drivers stock their cars with items like a jumper cables, first aid kits, flashlights, reflector flares, ice scrapers, and snow brushes. That is an addition to hats, scarves, gloves, and a blanket.

"Believe it or not, kitty litter -- kitty litter can actually help you gain traction," said Arnette. "If you don't have something like that you can use something you already have in your vehicle. Your car mats -- that can also help you."

However, she said the best advice, is to stay off the roads if at all possible during these conditions.

"If you must go out, just slow down. Use extreme caution," Arnette said. She also said to avoid slamming on your brakes or using cruise control in these conditions.

Jeremy Slayton, with Dominion Energy, warned people to be aware of downed power lines that could be covered with snow.

"Assume they are energized and dangerous," Slayton said. "If you have a generator, be sure it is fueled, tested, and properly connected before the severe weather arrives."

Slayton said if an outage does occur, Dominion Energy has crews ready to respond quick and safely. He said outages can be reported at 1-866-DOM-HELP.

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