Downtown Franklin parade still a go

Published 11:05 am Friday, December 8, 2017

In spite of an initially discouraging weather forecast, tonight’s Christmas parade at 7 o’clock is still on. The event will start on Charles Street and continue down Fourth Avenue onto Main Street and end at South Street. Those participating are reminded to report behind the National Guard Armory on Campbell Avenue starting at 5:30 p.m., and the processing starts at 7 sharp.

Should this change tomorrow, the paper will announce it via and the Facebook page. You can also call the Downtown Franklin Association at 562-6900.

Meanwhile, if you heard there’s a chance of snow this weekend, don’t get your hopes up too high or sleds out too soon.

Any hopes of accumulation tomorrow are slim to none, according to the National Weather Service in Wakefield. If anything, Western Tidewater will experience some rain, light winds and crispy cold temperatures.

On Friday morning, the early forecast indicated a mix of precipitation. But that has apparently changed.

As of 3 p.m. on Thursday, the forecast called for cloudy skies with a chance of rain likely and highs in the mid-40s. By tonight, continued cloudy skies and rain will be likely until midnight. There is a chance of snow after 12, but little to no accumulation even with the lows hovering in the 30s.

Saturday will continue to be cloudy with a 70 percent chance of rain and highs in the mid-40s. Skies will become partly cloudy by the night with lows around 30. In contrast, Sunday is expected to be mostly sunny and breezy with highs in the lower 40s.

Nonetheless, the Virginia Department of Transportation will be ready for what comes in the next 48 hours or this coming winter.

“We began preparing in October with equipment checks and dry runs,” said VDOT Hampton Roads District Administrator Jim Utterback.” Year round, Utterback added, “We work to keep our salt domes and sand piles stocked and our pre-treatment supplies on hand for a quick and complete roll out.”

Paula Miller, the communications manager for VDOT Hampton Roads, reported in a release that agency has available 24,000 tons of salt; 14,000 tons of sand; and 168,000 gallons of salt brine. There are also 469 pieces of equipment, including dump trucks, front-end loaders, motor graders, plows and spreaders. More hired equipment can be obtained as needed.

There are a total of 2,743 district anti-icing lane-miles, which includes 960 in the Franklin residency and 978 on the interstate system.

Miller added that the district’s preseason snow-removal budget is $5.3 million, and that’s a small part of the overall maintenance budget.

“If more resources are required to clear roads and interstates, VDOT will spare no expense for driver safety,” she wrote. “VDOT’s goal is to have all state-maintained roads passable within 48 hours after a winter storm ends.”