VDOT prepares for Tropical Storm Michael

Published 3:22 pm Thursday, October 11, 2018

Motorists advised to plan ahead, adjust Thursday travel

By Lindsay LeGrand


The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is finalizing preparations ahead of effects from Tropical Storm Michael, and crews stand ready to respond to any unsafe travel conditions or damage resulting from the storm. With heavy rain and wind gusts forecasted to begin in parts of the Commonwealth early Thursday afternoon, travelers are encouraged to plan ahead for changing road conditions, and adjust travel, as needed. The storm could cause downed trees, debris in roadways and high water.

Ahead of the storm, crews have been clearing drainage facilities, preparing trucks and equipment and coordinating for additional debris and tree removal crews to be on standby.

Update 3:15 p.m.

Currently, scheduled lane closures at the Downtown Tunnel and on I-564 have already been suspended. However, all other construction activities are dependent on weather and are subject to cancellation.

There are no plans to close any of Hampton Roads major bridge or tunnel crossings, including the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel and Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge-Tunnel. There are no set wind restrictions to vehicular traffic at any of the VDOT-operated bridges in Hampton Roads. Complete bridge information can be found at: http://www.virginiadot.org/travel/hro-tunnel-default.asp.

The Jamestown-Scotland Ferry will run normal services until further notice.

Travel tips

If a traffic signal is out, drivers are advised to treat the intersection as a four way stop.

Never drive through water flowing across a road. It takes only six to 12 inches of water to float a small vehicle.

Never drive around barricades. Remember, the road has been closed for your safety.

Slow down when driving through standing water. Driving too fast through water could cause you to lose control and hydroplane.

Avoid flood-prone areas, especially along creeks and other low-lying areas. Water in those areas can rise quickly and without warning during heavy rains.

In the event of a flash flood warning for your area, seek high ground immediately.

Watch for debris on the roadway. If you encounter a downed power line, do not try to move the line. Downed trees may contain power lines. Contact VDOT or Dominion Virginia Power.

If involved in a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

Information resources

Get the latest road conditions – call 511, go to www.511virginia.org or download the mobile app at the 511 web site.

Report downed trees, hazardous road conditions or talk to a customer service representative – call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623.)

Prepare for the storm and find out about other VDOT storm preparedness efforts – visit www.VirginiaDOT.org.

Traffic information is also available on Twitter @511statewideVA. For general VDOT information, follow @VaDOT.

VDOT’s Facebook page will also be updated throughout the storm. https://www.facebook.com/VirginiaDOT

Lindsay LeGrand is a spokeswoman for VDOT. She can be reached at 804-786-2715.