Governor's Office news release
McDonnell today encouraged Virginians to prepare for a potential significant
winter storm that will affect the Commonwealth beginning tonight and lasting
through late Wednesday/early Thursday. While exact impacts are still somewhat
uncertain, Virginians should make preparations now for possible power outages
and unsafe road conditions. The Governor participated in a full storm briefing
earlier today with representatives from the National Weather Service, the State
Police, the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, the Virginia
Department of Health, the Virginia National Guard, and numerous other agencies
and officials, including several members of his Cabinet.
Speaking about the storm, the Governor remarked, "While computer models
continue to paint slightly different pictures regarding the exact location of
the heaviest accumulations in the Commonwealth, we know that heavy snow,
accompanied by high winds, is on the way for many areas of Virginia. This snow
will accumulate rapidly at its peak and the combination of wet snow and high
winds will likely lead to widespread power outages in many cities and counties.
Weather conditions are anticipated to be the most severe in areas like the
northern Shenandoah Valley, the northern Piedmont and Northern Virginia. I
urge all Virginians to take the appropriate steps now to prepare for this
storm. And I ask Virginians to also do what we do best: look out for one
another. If you have an elderly neighbor, check in on them during the storm; if
you know a family in need make sure they are prepared to get through this
storm. We are preparing at the state level for this late-winter event. But even
with the best preparations there will still be power outages and dangerous
travel conditions. I ask all Virginians to work together and help one another
as we go through this storm over the next 24 to 36 hours."
Virginia state agencies, local governments, power companies and
telecommunication providers are taking all necessary and prudent steps to
ensure they are prepared for whatever weather might impact the Commonwealth.
The following steps have already been taken to prepare for the storm:
- The Governor has
directed all executive branch agencies with non-essential employees living or
working in official storm watch or warning areas to allow eligible tele-workers
to work remotely or to be generous in approving unplanned leave requests
Virginia Department of Emergency Management is coordinating preparations at the
state level, including holding conference calls with the National Weather
Service, local governments and other state agencies.
in the Virginia Emergency Operations Center will be increased beginning at 7
a.m. Wednesday for the duration of the event.
Virginia Department of Transportation is fully prepared for this event,
including deploying more than 4,000 salt trucks in northern Virginia by
Wednesday morning. VDOT will work 24/7 operations throughout the storm
and beyond as required.
Virginia State Police staff are on stand-by with all troopers, supervisors and
selected civilian staff statewide prepared for immediate deployment and
extended work shifts based on the storm.
National Guard is on alert if needed to assist localities and several units in
northern and western Virginia have been advised to begin preparations
Virginia Department of Health is coordinating with hospitals and local
emergency services departments.
sector power companies and telecommunications providers are coordinating with
the Virginia Emergency Operations Center on storm preparation efforts.
Administration officials have been in direct contact already with
representatives from Dominion Virginia Power and other Virginia power
Can Help …
where you need to be before the weather gets bad. If possible, delay
travel on Wednesday to allow VDOT crews to clear the roads. Most
accidents happen within the first two hours after a storm begins. If you
must drive, wear a seatbelt.
media outlets for notices of closures of government offices or private
operations to avoid unnecessary travel
current road condition information by calling 511 or visiting www.511Virginia.org
sure you have essential supplies on hand: at least three days of food that does
not require refrigeration or electricity to prepare; at least three days of
water (one gallon per person per day); a battery-powered and/or hand-crank
radio to get information from local media; a family emergency plan.
www.ReadyVirginia.gov for additional
information and download the new Ready Virginia app for iPhones and Android
all mobile communication devices now
you lose power, call your power company to report it.
not operate generators indoors. Follow manufacturer's directions exactly.
call 911 for life-threatening emergencies.
bring in all pets from outside during the storm
governments may open warming centers or overnight shelters in affected
areas. Get shelter information from your local emergency management
office or by calling 211.
you need assistance for a person with special needs, call 211 or visit www.211virginia.org. All referrals are