City issues winter storm update

Mike Aliff, Paul Kay
Mike Aliff, left,of Richmond, hooks up a tow strap to Paul Kay's, right, car that is stuck in the snow in Richmond, Va., Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016. Good Samaritan Aliff had helped six other motorists. Portions of Virginia are under a blizzard warning. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC)  — Officially, Richmond received six inches of snow on Jan. 22. City crews are continuing to focus on priority one routes. As the condition of priority one routes improves, work is expected to begin on priority two routes during the second shift of today’s snow plow schedule.

Residents are encouraged to limit driving, as this allows city plows to work safely and efficiently. Motorists are reminded that parking is not currently allowed in designated Snow Emergency Routes. The public may follow the progress of city snow plows by viewing the city’s Snow Tracker.

“I would like to thank our dedicated city employees for working around the clock during this winter storm to clear snow from our streets and ensure the safety of our residents,” said Mayor Dwight C. Jones. “From applying pre-treatment to plowing to improve the safety and usability of Richmond’s priority one routes. I want residents to know that our focus is not just on the current state of city streets, we are working to have the City of Richmond open for business on Monday.”

The city’s 311 call center is operating on a 24-hour schedule until the event ends to help provide residents with vital information. Residents should call 911 if they are experiencing an emergency situation. If you lose power, be sure to report it to Dominion Virginia Power by calling 1-866-DOM-HELP (1-866-366-4357).

The city currently has two storm relief shelters remain open for resident’s who may lose power or whose homes do not have heat. The shelters are located at Linwood Holton Elementary School, 1600 West Laburnum Avenue, and J. H. Blackwell Elementary School, 300 East 15th Street. The opening status of the storm relief shelters may change as weather conditions change. Residents are reminded to bring any medications, toiletries, and items needed for infants and seniors to the shelters with them. Firearms are not permitted. Residents traveling to either of the two city shelters may bring their cats and dogs with them and Richmond Animal Care and Control will transport these pets to the city animal shelter.

The city asks that residents remain home during this weather event and offers the following safety recommendations:

  • If you must drive, drive cautiously and decrease speed;
  • Have a full tank of gas;
  • Have a fully charged cell phone with you;
  • Stay inside if possible. If you need to go out, dress in several layers of lightweight clothing. Wear mittens or gloves and a hat, preferably one that covers your ears;
  • Seek medical attention immediately if you have symptoms of hypothermia or frostbite;
  • Avoid overloading electrical outlets;
  • Do not connect your generator directly to your home’s wiring or place your generator inside your home. Connecting a portable electric generator directly to your household wiring can be deadly to you and others. A generator that is directly connected to your home’s wiring may ‘back feed’ onto the power lines connected to your home creating a fire hazard;
  • If space heaters are being used, follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to safely use the heater. Make sure your space heater is a minimum of three feet from any flammable material. Turn the space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep. Keep children and pets away from your space heater;
  • Stoves or ovens should not be used as an alternate source to heat your home;
  • Bring your pets indoors. If you are unable to bring them inside, provide adequate shelter to keep them warm and make sure they can get to unfrozen water.
  • If you own property bordering a public sidewalk, it is your responsibility to remove snow after the snowfall ends (Richmond Code §24-34).

The city’s cold weather day warming site is open today through Jan. 26 from 6:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. The site is located in the city’s Public Safety Building at 505 North 9th Street.

The city’s cold weather overflow shelter will open tonight through Jan. 25 as overnight temperatures are forecast to remain at or below 40 degrees during this time period. The overflow shelter is located in the city’s Public Safety Building at 505 North 9th Street. The shelter opens each day at 7 p.m. and closes the following morning at 6 a.m. Shelter registration is from 7 to 9 p.m. Food will not be provided and pets are not allowed.

For up-to-date information and additional instructions from the city of Richmond during this weather event, please visit http://www.Richmondgov.com, follow the city on Twitter @CityRichmondVA, and stay tuned to 8News.

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