Risky roadways

Published 5:20 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Many roads in the area and in western and southern Virginia were treacherous for motorists and first responders over the weekend as a major winter storm arrived that was punctuated by heavy snowfall Sunday. A Monday news release from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) cited that the department’s cleanup was continuing as the storm exited the region, adding that travelers were urged to limit travel if possible and to use caution as crews focused on restoring roadways for motorists. The release continued by stating that with most interstates and primary routes in clear condition, VDOT crews would possibly be able to shift focus to secondary routes and neighborhood streets.

Tuesday morning, according to www.511Virginia. org, VDOT’s Virginia Traffic Information website, listed all secondary routes in Lunenburg County as being in minor hazardous conditions due to icy patches.

This slow-moving winter storm dropped record amounts of heavy snow across the southern and southwest parts of the state, officials said in the VDOT release.

In a Monday morning press release from Virginia State Police (VSP) Public Relations Director Corinne N. Geller, she said there had been 1,177 total traffic crashes statewide that VSP had responded to from 12:01 a.m. Sunday through 10 a.m. Monday.

“Fortunately the majority of those crashes have involved only damage to vehicles, and there are still no reported traffic-related deaths in Virginia,” she said in the release.

She noted that VSP and VDOT were still advising motorists to delay travel, because while main roads and interstates may have been clear, secondary and rural routes were still snow-covered, slick and — in many cases — impassable.

“The majority of vehicles getting stuck are on secondary roads and neighborhood entrances,” she said in the release. “Please continue to be patient and allow VDOT vehicles access to treat and clear these secondary roads and intersections.”

Geller highlighted how disabled/stuck vehicle calls dominated the calls for service, totalling 1,589 statewide.

She added that downed trees and debris were also causing hazardous conditions on Virginia’s roadways, especially in the western parts of the state, while slick road conditions had been responsible for several Virginia troopers being struck.

In a Sunday release, Geller said that as of 10 p.m., VSP was responding to road incidents around the commonwealth, including 13 disabled vehicles and three traffic crashes in the Appomattox Division, which includes Lunenburg County.

“The majority of the crashes continue to involve only damage to vehicles,” she said in that release. “There have been no reported fatal traffic crashes.”