Southside city crews work to dig out, treat icy roadways

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NORFOLK, Va. - Crews across the southside of Hampton Roads are still working to treat primary and secondary roadways.

Some of those roadways are still covered in icy patches of snow that froze throughout the weekend and thousands of commuters are expected to head back to work Tuesday for the first time since Saturday's snowstorm.

Trisha Pope Fayton, Management Services Administrator for Norfolk Public Works, says as of Monday at 1 p.m., the primary roads are 75 percent clear and the secondary roads are between 30 and 40 percent clear.

All city offices, recreation centers, and libraries were closed on Monday.

The city has 15 plows and 16 spreaders on the street applying salt and sand. Additionally, VDOT has 16 spreaders and plows working.

Fayton says all primary and secondary roads are passable, but drivers should still use caution and proceed slowly.

Per city protocol, plows will not go to Norfolk neighborhoods.

Michael Kerner of Norfolk had to go to work Monday, but he knows many others will be joining him Tuesday morning.

"I think everybody needs to be courteous and keep good distances and so forth because you can slide. My car`s a rear-wheel drive car so I have to be careful when I`m driving in the snow," said Kerner.

In Virginia Beach, most city offices and facilities opened to the public at 10 a.m. on Monday.

Drew Lankford, a spokesman for the Department of Public Works, says the extra VDOT crews that were called in to help with the winter storm left on Sunday afternoon.

City crews have moved from twelve-hour shifts back to their eight-hour shifts, but are still treating primary and secondary roadways. Their crews do not go to city neighborhoods either.

On Monday, their main focus was applying salt and sand to the secondary roadways.

Lankford says once they get to Tuesday, the rising temperatures should help clear out the areas still covered in ice, which is their biggest challenge at this time.

It's been a challenge for Niko Benetos of Virginia Beach too.

Because he's comfortable driving on snow and ice the New York City native spent Monday driving friends to and from work. He says the roads were not up to par.

"For me it`s been a disaster. I`ve been trying to go from Shore Drive to Laskin and I`ve been in this car since 2 p.m. and the roads are like this. They`re full of ice," said Benetos.

In Chesapeake, spokeswoman for the Public Works Department, Liz Vaughn, says crews were also working on primary and secondary roadways.

Their focus was treating the roadways so it could melt, and then catching the roads when they were melting so they could remove slush before it re-freezes.

They sent out 30 trucks on Monday.

In this storm alone, Vaughn says the city used about 2,080 tons of a salt/sand mixture.