VDOT prepared for impacts of potential tropical cyclone

Agency ready to address effects of heavy rains, high winds and flooding; Motorists should limit travel based on conditions.

photo of rainy weather

RICHMOND — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is prepared to address the potential severe weather impacts of Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen, expected to reach the Commonwealth by the afternoon of Friday, Sept. 22.

At this time, forecasts show that Potential Tropical Cyclone Sixteen will bring heavy rain and strong winds this afternoon and into early Sunday. Rainfalls of three to six inches are expected, with the highest rainfalls along and east of the Interstate 95 corridor. Localized flooding is possible, and wind gusts may result in downed trees and powerlines, scattered power outages and temporary interruption of services at tunnels and ferries.

The Hampton Roads, Richmond, Fredericksburg and Northern Virginia regions are expected to experience the most severe impacts.

VDOT crews stand ready to respond to any unsafe travel conditions and any damage resulting from the storm. Ahead of the storm, crews have been inspecting drainage facilities and clearing them where necessary, readying trucks and equipment, and coordinating debris and tree removal crews to be on standby.

As forecasts and conditions could change, travelers should pay close attention to local weather reports and announcements from officials and limit their travels based on conditions.

SAFETY DURING THE STORM

The safety of the traveling public and our crews is VDOT’s top priority.

This severe weather system may cause downed trees and power lines and other debris, as well as flooding that will make roadways extremely hazardous or impassable. Stay away from downed wires and do not approach or touch trees or limbs that are entangled with wires as they could be extremely dangerous. If those are in state maintained roadways, VDOT crews must await the power company to remove any electrical hazard before addressing downed trees or other roadway debris.

Travelers should use extreme caution on roadways:

  • Obey all “road closed” signage.
  • “Turn around, don’t drown” - Do not attempt to travel through flooded roadways. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the primary causes of flood-related deaths occur to individuals driving into or walking in or near flood waters.
    • Six inches of flood water is enough to knock an adult off of their feet
    • 12 inches can move most cars
    • 18-24 inches can carry away most large SUVs, vans and trucks
  • Be alert to debris, downed trees and power lines.
  • Move over for emergency crews operating in or near roadways.
  • Be alert to High Wind Advisories, especially on bridges or taller structures. High-profile vehicles such as tractor trailers, SUVs or box trucks are especially vulnerable and should not cross a bridge when a High Wind Advisory is posted.

STAY INFORMED

Prior to travel, the public should check road conditions by calling 511, visiting www.511Virginia.org or checking the 511 Virginia mobile app.

The public should report any problems such as flooding, downed trees or road hazards to VDOT’s 24-hour Customer Service Center by visiting my.vdot.virginia.gov or call 800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623).

For more information about VDOT, including safety information and travel alerts, visit www.virginiadot.org.

(END)

Last updated: July 11, 2024

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