Gov. McAuliffe declares state of emergency ahead of coastal storm

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RICHMOND, Va. – Governor McAuliffe declared a state of emergency ahead of a winter storm heading to Virginia.

Forecasts are calling for snow in many parts of the commonwealth. Hampton Roads and NE North Carolina are expected to have rain, wind, and some snow in areas.

The state of emergency has been issued for Monday night through Tuesday.

McAuliffe’s announcement detailed what the state will do and what citizens should do ahead of the storm:

State Actions:

  • Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews have begun 24-hour operations and are pretreating roads where temperatures permit. Motorists are strongly encouraged to stay off the roads during the storm. For information about road and traffic conditions, check www.511virginia.org or call 511 before traveling.
  • The Virginia State Police have uniformed personnel and necessary specialty units ready for response to the next round of increased volumes in traffic crashes, disabled vehicles, and other storm-related emergencies. Virginians are advised to plan ahead for slick, treacherous road conditions. They can also help reduce traffic crashes and delays by avoiding travel during the storm.
  • The Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring up to 200 personnel to be staged across Northern Virginia to support requests for assistance. Expected missions for the Guard include using Humvees and light/medium tactical trucks to provide transportation for first responders through deep snow or help evacuate citizens in need of shelter as well as providing debris reduction teams with chain saws to help clear roads if needed.

What Citizens Should Do:

  • Stay off the roads during the storm unless travel is absolutely necessary. If travel is necessary, drive with caution and allow extra space around other vehicles.
  • Use extreme caution around slow-moving equipment being used to treat roads, such as snow plows.
  • If you have electric-dependent medical equipment, make sure all primary and backup batteries are fully charged. Make sure you have the medical supplies you will need for at least 72 hours.
  • If you receive dialysis treatments or have other critical medical appointments during the week, make plans now for transportation or reschedule if possible.
  • Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter and is in safe driving condition. Keep an emergency kit in your car. Include items such as jumper cables, blankets, first aid kit, water, non-perishable food, cat litter or sand, shovel, flash light and batteries, ice scraper and cell phone charger.
  • Check on elderly or neighbors who are unable to leave their homes, family, and friends to ensure they are ready for this storm and any possible inconveniences or interruptions that may result.
  • Bring pets inside from the cold.
  • Be prepared to take care of yourself and your family for at least 72 hours, in case roads are blocked and/or there are power outages.
  • Have a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and extra batteries for emergency information. Listen to local weather forecasts and instructions from local officials.
  • If you need help, information or resources during the storm, call 211. Those with hearing impairments can call 711 for the Virginia Relay Center and then call 1-800-230-6977. Out of state or videophone users may also dial 1-800-230-6977 for assistance.
  • Download the free VDOT 511 app for updates on road conditions at: http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/511.asp.