VDOT Urges Caution Concerning Hurricane Irene

UPDATE:

COLONIAL HEIGHTS—Drivers can expect dangerous conditions in central Virginia as Hurricane Irene moves through the region. Trees have fallen along several routes in the Richmond area due to high wind. Conditions are not expected to improve until the effects of the storm have subsided.

VDOT crews are working as quickly as possible to clear roads of trees and debris. Like snow removal, once the interstates and high volume primary and secondary roads have been cleared, crews will move on to low volume and secondary (neighborhood) roads.

Motorists are strongly encouraged to suspend travel today and overnight, if possible, until conditions improve.

VDOT will continue to monitor all bridges and roadways throughout the district and report closure and road blockages as this information becomes available.

Real-time listings of road conditions in Virginia are available on VDOT's 24-hour traffic and travel information website, www.511Virginia.org or by calling 511. Bridge and road closures, including all secondary road closures, will be listed on the website. Richmond area traffic information is also available on Twitter @511centralVA.

VDOT's Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (800-367-7623) is open 24 hours a day. Agents will be available to answer customer questions and record any reports of downed trees and road hazards.

Motorists are encouraged to monitor weather reports and road conditions before traveling and take the following precautions:

· 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 your local power company.

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