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VDOT Snow Removal Procedures and Power Outages
Thursday, January 27, 2011

VDOT Snow Removal Procedures and Power Outages

Dear Friend,


Due to yesterday's snow storm and the treacherous road conditions, I wanted to provide you with snow removal information from the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) on snow removal and from Dominion Power on the power outages in Northern Virginia. VDOT is urging motorists to avoid all travel this morning until road conditions improve.  Snow totals range from five inches in PrinceWilliam County to 12 inches in Loudoun County. 

Dominion Power

Dominion Virginia Power crews are assessing damage and restoring power as quickly and safely as possible today.  Dominion believes that there are approximately 71,000 customers in Fairfax County without service.  They restored service to about 30,000 customers in Northern Virginia last night.  Dominion should be able to provide customers with estimated times for restoration of service by 2:00 p.m. today if you call them.  The number of downed trees and abandoned cars have made it more difficult for Dominion to make repairs.  They do have nearly 2,000 resources engaged in the restoration effort.  Call Dominon toll-free to report outages: 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).  Also report hazardous or emergency situations by phone.  View their power outageshere.  To read more on Dominion's efforts to restore power in Northern Virginia, please visit their website.

Map of Dominion Power outages as of 8:17 a.m. on January 27, 2011

Emergency Assistance

  • If you have a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1.
  • If you are seeking assistance for an elderly or disabled person during the storm, need information on warming shelters in the area or concerned about an unsheltered individual or family at risk of hypothermia, please dial 2-1-1 or visit 211virginia.org.
  • When you dial 2-1-1, a trained professional will listen to your situation and suggest sources of help using one of the largest databases of health and human services in your community and statewide. All referrals are confidential, and you can search for these same services on 211virginia.org.
  • Detailed safety information is available atwww.ReadyVirginia.gov.
VDOT Snow Removal

VDOT is responsible for clearing snow and ice on all state roads, which are marked by black and white route number signs. In Northern Virginia, there are more than 17,000 lane miles to clear when we have a storm.  VDOT has sent us two updates on the road conditions, which can be viewed on my



VDOT Road Priorities are as follows:

  • Interstates (I-66, I-95/395, I-495)
  • High-Volume Routes (Routes 1, 7, 28, 29, 50, Fairfax County Parkway)
  • Main thoroughfares in neighborhoods or developments
  • Residential Streets
  • Cul-de-sacs

VDOT Guidance:

  • Stay off the roads, let the plows clear the snow, and be patient
  • VDOT does not remove snow from sidewalks (there has been additional training for all plow drivers to not shovel onto fire hydrants, side walks, driveways, etc)
  • For an average 6 inch storm, VDOT's goal is to make 1 pass of all roads within 48 hours of the end of the storm
  • VDOT tries not to deploy trucks during rush-hour
  • Do not clear the last couple feet of your driveway until a plow has been through
  • When shoveling your driveway, shovel the snow to the right as you face the road
  • Avoid parking on the street, but if you have to park on the street, please park on the odd numbered side of the street to leave more room for trucks to drive through

Winter Weather Driving Tips:

  • Look up the current road conditions before beginning your trip - call 511 or visit www.511virginia.org
  • Make sure your vehicle is ready for winter
  • Keep your car's windows, roofs, mirrors and lights clear of snow and ice
  • Always wear your seatbelt
  • Allow plenty of extra time to reach your destination
  • Start out slowly
  • Be aware of potentially icy areas, such as shady spots and bridges
  • Keep a safe distance of at least 5 seconds behind other vehicles and trucks that are plowing the road
  • Do NOT pass a snowplow or spreader unless it is absolutely necessary - treat these as you would emergency   response vehicles
  • Keep an emergency winter driving kit in your car

To learn more about VDOT's snow removal procedures, please visit my website.


To report an road that has not been plowed contact VDOT at:
[email protected]
1-800-FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623)

Additional VDOT Resources:
www.511virginia.org - Provides real-time updates on traffic incidents and road conditions
Twitter - Follow VaDOT and 511northernva for news and information on VDOT projects and programs around the state and updates on traffic incidents and road conditions
www.facebook.com/virginiadot - learn about VDOT news and programs
www.youtube.com/vdotweb - view videos on snow removal and several other topics

Internet, Cable or Telephone Service

If you lose service you can call:
  • Comcast of Virginia, Inc.: 703-841-7700, TTY 711
  • Cox Communications, Inc.: 703-378-8422, TTY 378-3924
  • Verizon Virginia, Inc.: 1-888-553-1555, TTY 1-800-974-6006

If you have a safety concern regarding a specific roadway or situation, please feel free to report it to my office:

[email protected]



I am also posting updates as I receive them on my website,

www.delegatecomstock.com, as well as on Facebook and

Twitter.  I would also like to invite you to keep in touch and to send me information throughout a storm.




Barbara Comstock


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