With winter weather and treacherous conditions widespread across western, southern and central Virginia, the Virginia State Police is advising motorists to avoid traveling, unless absolutely necessary. State police have increased patrols to ensure quick response and clearance of traffic crashes and disabled vehicles in those most impacted areas of the Commonwealth. As of 1 p.m. today, Virginia State Police are responding to 65 traffic crashes statewide. 6 of them are in Henry County. The majority of the crashes involve only damage to vehicles. No traffic fatalities have been reported at this time.
The Virginia Department of Transportation is warning motorists to prepare for heavy snow accumulations and treacherous travel as a winter storm continues across parts of southern, central and western Virginia. VDOT crews are working around the clock to plow and treat roads in affected areas. Crews focus on treating interstates and primary roads first, then major secondary roads with vital emergency and public facilities, and then other secondary roads and subdivision streets. As drivers encounter slow-moving equipment such as snowplows, please slow down and allow operators the right of way.
Appalachian Power says their concern for outages exists more in the areas that receive wet snow rather than the areas with dry snow. That makes Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania counties and the southern part of Franklin county the most vulnerable as 10 to 14 inches of wet snow is expected here. As of 1:30 PM this afternoon, 2,820 customers in Henry County are without power, 18 in Patrick County, and 8 in Franklin County.
Henry County tells us a power outage in Fieldale (Primarily 10th Street and Frank Wilson Ave) is impacting a PSA pump station in that area. PSA customers in that area may see reduced water pressure for a period of time. Residents of that area are encouraged to conserve water.
An update from the National Weather Service confirms the Winter Storm Warning now in effect will remain until 11 AM Monday. Heavy snow will continue through the day. The prolonged period of moderate to heavy snow is expected across the region, with the
heaviest across southern Virginia into western North Carolina.
The latest forecast calls for 100 percent chance of snow this afternoon, heavy at times. Areas of blowing snow before 4 PM with north winds at 15 mph. 9 to 13 inches of snow is expected. Tonight, 80 percent chance of drizzle and snow, possibly mixed with freezing drizzle before midnight, then a chance of snow and freezing drizzle between midnight and 1 AM, then a chance of snow after 1 AM. Overnight accumulation of 1 to 3 inches is expected. There is a 20 percent chance of snow before 10 AM before ending.