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The original item was published from 12/7/2018 12:15:16 PM to 12/8/2018 12:39:01 PM.

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Danville, VA Local Government News and Announcements

Posted on: December 7, 2018

[ARCHIVED] City prepares for threat of winter storm

Snowplow photo

The Danville Public Works Department is pretreating main thoroughfares today because of a winter storm that is expected to bring accumulating snow beginning Sunday morning and continuing into Monday morning.

According to the latest forecast from the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, a total accumulation of 12 inches is likely for the city, but the amounts could be as low as four inches and as high as 15 inches, depending on the track of the storm.

“This system is coming west to east from California and will bring with it moisture from the Gulf,” meteorologist Patrick Wilson said Friday morning. “The totals will depend upon how far this moisture spreads northward.”

Wilson also said there is uncertainty with the time of arrival for the storm in Danville.

“Earlier this week, it was expected that the storm would arrive by late Friday or Saturday, but it is backing up into Sunday. That is why we have allowed a window from midnight Saturday to Sunday morning. It is possible that you could wake up Sunday morning and it hasn’t yet started to snow.”

Wilson said the snowfall will start out light, though there could be heavy bands for brief periods. If the snowfall begins after midnight, then it will turn heavy by daybreak. If the snowfall begins later Sunday morning, then the heaviest snowfall will occur Sunday afternoon and evening.

The snow will be dry and light in the beginning, but then switch to wet and heavy as more moisture arrives, which would weigh down power lines and tree limbs and create power outages. Winds are expected to be relatively light, with gusts up to 20 mph.

Temperatures are forecast to reach a low of 28 degrees overnight Saturday, and climb no higher than 32 degrees on Sunday.

Public Works crews will pretreat major thoroughfares and bridges with brine, which is a mixture of water and salt. The water in the brine evaporates, leaving the salt behind on the road. The salt breaks the bond between the snow and the roadway, and it therefore helps prevent the snow from freezing onto roads and bridges.

Public Works Director Rick Drazenovich said crews are prepared for round-the-clock snow removal operations. They will begin plowing road surfaces when one inch of snow has accumulated. Plowing continues only on the highest traffic volume roads until the end of the snow event.

When the snow event has ended and the main thoroughfares are cleared, crews then will move to streets that connect to primary routes and bus routes. The final stage will be residential neighborhoods.

Residents and visitors are urged to proceed with caution. Only the major thoroughfares will be pretreated. Remember that your car cannot start, stop or turn as quickly and surely on snow as it does on dry pavement, so think and drive accordingly, and be cautious driving and walking in parking lots.

Danville Utilities is monitoring the situation. Crews will be on standby through the weekend in the event of power outages.

Residents and visitors can learn more about snow removal operations, what to do in the event of power outages, and winter safety tips by visiting the City’s weather page: danvilleva.gov/weather.

If any resident or visitor needs shelter, then they should call the City of Danville non-emergency number, which is 434-799-5111. Arrangements for shelter will be made.

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