‘Stay home if possible’: VDOT warns drivers about road conditions

Published 6:36 am Tuesday, January 16, 2024

The road conditions in Buckingham, Cumberland and Prince Edward counties are drivable, but just barely in places this morning. In addition to the snow and ice that fell yesterday, we had another slight shower of it overnight. Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) officials warned it coats parts of the roadway, hiding potential black ice. 

“Overnight, temperatures dropped below freezing and combined with wet pavement, developed slick spots and icy glaze in some areas,” VDOT officials said in a statement. “These conditions should be expected until temperatures rise and the pavement dries.” 

That won’t happen this morning, with potentially two hours of snow before 9 a.m. and temperatures not climbing above freezing until after noon. Reports have come in from across the area, with ice on U.S.-60 North in Cumberland and snow covering parts of both VA-45 and VA-13. 

Road conditions require caution

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VDOT crews have been out in our area throughout the night, monitoring roads for refreeze and treating slick spots. Most are using a mixed abrasive of salt and sand to generate deicing and provide traction. And while people can travel the roads, the main word is one of caution. If you can, stay home, VDOT officials ask. If not, drive slow. 

“Those traveling this morning should use extra caution, especially in areas more likely to freeze first (cold spots, ramps, overpasses and bridges),” VDOT officials said. “Drivers should allow extra time to reach their destinations and reduce their speed.” 

Beyond that, VDOT officials ask drivers for a few things this morning: 

  • Don’t try to pass VDOT work crews on the road. Be patient, stay back and give them space. 
  • Use caution in places where pavement freezes first, like bridges
  • Leave extra room between vehicles while driving 
  • If you start to skid, do not brake. Take your foot off the gas and steer the vehicle in the direction you want to go.