First widespread storm of year may create dangerous driving conditions

Published 1:35 pm Tuesday, December 15, 2020

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Rain, snow, sleet and freezing rain beginning during the early hours of Wednesday, Dec. 16 could create dangerous driving conditions into Thursday and motorists are urged to avoid travel, if possible.

The first widespread storm of the winter season is moving into the region and crews in the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Lynchburg District have already taken steps to address the safety of motorists on area roadways. Major roads have been pre-treated in anticipation of the winter weather conditions. Crews across the entire district will move into 24-hour operations overnight to handle any areas of concern that may arise.

Chief among the concerns is the possibility of significant icy conditions. Road temperatures have been good and, initially, any frozen precipitation that falls is expected to melt; however, as road temperatures fall and sleet/freezing rain occurs, surfaces, particularly on bridges, overpasses and ramps may freeze quickly. Crews will monitor conditions throughout the storm and may apply abrasives to help with traction.

Motorists, too, can help. It is recommended that motorists avoid travel, if possible. If travel is necessary, do not travel at the height of the storm. Slow down. Brake slowly and carefully. Allow extra space between vehicles and check for road conditions in advance of any travel.