As you may know, the Commonwealth of Virginia is preparing for a major winter storm that will affect all portions of the state beginning as early as mid-morning on Friday, January 22nd. Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a State of Emergency and activated the Virginia National Guard effective8:00 a.m. Thursday.
It is possible that the storm will arrive in two parts. The storm system is expected to affect the Richmond metro area through the weekend with snow projected to end by Sunday evening. Additional snowfall after the storm’s initial arrival on Friday is possible.
In advance of the storm, have an emergency preparedness kit ready that includes items such as flashlights, drinking water, any needed medication, non-perishable food items as well as an emergency communication and evacuation plan.
For Friday, January 22, 2016, both Richmond City Public Schools and Chesterfield County Public Schools will be closed.
Be prepared for potential power outages. Charge your mobile devices including telephones and make certain your car's gas tank is full. If you have a generator, it is important that it is properly connected before use. Remember to never use a generator indoors.
Dominion Virginia Power recommends that you report or check the status of a power outage by calling 1-866-366-4357 or visiting www.dom.com/outages on your mobile device. It is important that Dominion Power be able to contact you. You can update your phone number with Dominion by calling 1-800-222-0401 or by visiting the www.dom.com and using your online account.
This storm will consist of not only snow, but high sustained and gusting winds. Dominion reminds citizens to remain at least 30 feet away from a downed power line. It is important to assume that the wires are live and pose a threat. Dial 9-1-1 immediately in the event of a downed power line in your area, or in case of any emergency.
In addition, take note of the non-emergency phone numbers for the City of Richmond Police Department, 804-646-5100, and the Chesterfield County Police Department, 804-748-1251, should you need assistance. For information on road conditions across all areas of our Commonwealth, you may visit 511virginia.org for a map of live updates from VDOT. Citizens across our Commonwealth are encouraged to visit www.ReadyVirginia.gov for additional safety information.
If you must travel on the roads during or after the storm, be sure that your car has the following items: jumper cables, blankets, first aid kit, water, non-perishable food, cat litter or sand, a shovel, flash flights and batteries, ice scraper and your cell phone charger.
The Virginia State Police has all uniformed state police troopers ready to respond, and VDOT has prepared 13,000 pieces of equipment statewide as well as over 2,000 employees who will be working around the clock to ensure public safety.
Please remember to call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency so that you can receive immediate assistance, and please stay safe throughout the duration of the storm by limiting travel.
Enjoy the snow and stay safe.
Betsy B. Carr