State police advise limited travel — including along I-95 — with more winter weather in Virginia’s forecast

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The Virginia State Police is mobilizing all available troopers ahead of Sunday’s inclement weather and encouraging motorists to avoid travel during the winter storm, which comes just two weeks after heavy snowfall shut down I-95.

“The Virginia State Police is currently preparing for this latest round of winter weather and will have all available troopers on patrol in order to respond as quickly as possible to traffic crashes, emergencies and disabled motorists,” said spokeswoman Corinne Geller in a press release Th—ursday.

The winter storm is expected to impact all regions of Virginia, especially along the I-95 corridor. The National Weather Service predicts precipitation will begin late Saturday and continue through Sunday.

“With respect to accumulating snow fall, there is a 30% chance of the area receiving at least a trace of snow,” said Michael Montefusco, lead forecaster for the NWS. “The majority of the event will be in the form of rain in the Hampton Roads area. It will begin as sleet, but as the wind in the ocean comes in, it will quickly turn to rain.”

The storm is not expected to produce as much snow as Winter Storm Frida, which dropped about 2 inches an hour and shut down I-95 and left motorists stranded for hours on Jan. 3. But motorists across the region are encouraged to be on the lookout for black ice, especially in Monday’s early morning hours, Montefusco said.

VSP is advising motorists to avoid travel during the storm and asks that those who must travel to monitor road conditions at www.511virginia.org or download the VDOT 511 app.

“As many are making plans now for what they’ll do over the long weekend, the Virginia State Police is advising everyone to be ‘weather aware’ and factor in how the pending winter storm can/will impact those travel plans,” Geller said.

While it will not be complete before the state feels the effects of the latest winter storm, the Virginia Department of Transportation is currently coordinating a multi-agency after-action review of its response to Winter Storm Frida.

The review is expected to take six to eight weeks to complete and will address public messaging and communications, the mobilization of resources, coordination among agencies and how to mitigate the challenges that the three agencies will face in future extreme weather events, VDOT said in a press release Thursday.

“While the after-action review is underway, we are not waiting to implement changes ahead of our next storm, such as improving our messaging to travelers using VDOT’s network of changeable message boards,” said VDOT Commissioner Stephen Brich. “The agency’s top priority is and will remain the safety of the traveling public, and our teams are committed to learning from this, then incorporating those lessons into our standard operating procedures.”

Caitlyn Burchett, caitlyn.burchett@virginiamedia.com

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