Big storm, but few emergency calls in Tidewater

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VDOT clears roads

New Kent roads are in various states of being cleared, although interstates and primary routes are VDOT’s first priority.

“In New Kent County we are still focusing on the major primary routes, which are routes 1 through 599,” VDOT Richmond district communications manager Lindsey LaGrand said.

“Most of the main primary routes in New Kent County are in moderate condition,” LaGrand said. “We have different scales of conditions of the road, whether its snow-covered or whether it’s completely dry and clear. Moderate means there are portions of the roadway covered by snow or ice, that’s most of the primary routes. We also have severe conditions listed for some of the secondary routes in New Kent County. That means that they are completely snow covered.”

“We are going to continue to work in 12-hour shifts to clear the roadways as soon as possible,” LaGrand said. “Our goal is to have roads passable within 48 hours of the storm’s end. Now that the storm is making its way out of the area, we expect to at least have one pass through of every single roadway in our region completed before the 48-hour mark.”

West Point residents dig out

On the weather-related calls front, things have been quiet in King William and West Point around noon Thursday, according to officials.

King William Sheriff’s Office hadn’t received many weather-related calls, something Sheriff Jeff Walton chalked up to the possibility that people are minimizing car trips in the snow.

“I guess most people are staying off the road,” Walton said.

Likewise, county fire and emergency medical response stations hadn’t had much reason to leave their stations except for a couple medical calls unrelated to the weather, King William Fire Chief Andy Aigner said.

Though traffic has been steady on West Point roads, there hadn’t been many calls for aid Thursday morning, West Point Police Officer Jason Harlow said.

“It’s been pretty quiet,” he said.

Though the town’s volunteer medics have had a busy morning, only a couple calls have been related to the snow, West Point Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad Assistant Chief Andrew Smith said.

Smith’s main concern is a potential uptick in weather-related incidents once roads refreeze and black ice becomes a danger for motorists.

As people work on digging themselves out, Smith cautioned that residents should be careful while walking on ice and shoveling snow.

“We encourage frequent breaks and not to push an individual’s physical limits,” Smith said.

12:30 p.m. update:

Wet Point’s streets were mostly deserted Thursday morning, though a few residents braved the wind to dig themselves out of the snow.

Resident Glenn Wurdemann was scraping sidewalk outside of his home on Kirby Street. Though he had planned to work on some renovations at one of his properties, the snow forced him to stay home for the day. Instead he’ll work on house plans from the comforts of his house once his excavation effort wrapped up.

“I’m still productive yet I’m rested,” Wurdemann said.

On the over side of town on Lee Street, John Sandlin was brushing snow off his cars. He happened to have a day off anyway and he planned to work on some interior renovations during the day.

11:30 a.m. update:

The New Kent County Sheriff’s Office reported attending to minor accidents.

“We have actually attended to a lot of vehicles in ditches and vehicles off of the roadway,” chief deputy sheriff Lee S. Bailey said. “No major incidents. But the roadways are certainly extremely hazardous and certainly, we would recommend not being on them unless you absolutely have to. That way VDOT can go out and clear stuff, they still have not even cleared or plowed a lot of the back roads.”

He added: “Route 60 has had some issues with vehicles in the ditch and off the road. The eastern end is certainly worse than the western end of the county. There is certainly more snow on the east end.”

The Middle Peninsula Regional Airport, in Mattaponi, was quiet on Thursday morning.

The airport saw hardly any air activity due to the snow storm.

“We don’t have much going on in terms of air activity at the moment,” line service technician Matthew Slaughter said. “We haven’t seen any incoming flights. Right now, we don’t have any scheduled departures or arrival, it’s a slow day.”

While several inches of snow have fallen on Tidewater, Thursday’s storm may also be remembered for the wind it produced.

A weather station in Mattaponi recorded a gust of 33 mph shortly after midnight Thursday. A station in Lightfoot recorded a gust of 34 mph.

VDOT was reporting an accident along I-64 westbound just west of the Barhamsville Road exit. The west left should and left lane are closed.

State police are reminding motorists to:

  • Clear off all snow and ice from your vehicle – windows, roof, trunk and lights.
  • Add extra time to reach travel destination.
  • Slow speed for road conditions.
  • Increase driving distances between vehicles for increased stopping distance.
  • Buckle up and don’t drive distracted.
  • Move over for all stopped emergency vehicles, highway vehicles and tow trucks.

8 a.m. Thursday update:

A winter storm warning remains in effect until 1 p.m. Thursday as the last vestiges of the storm continue north and east.

An additional 2-4 inches of snow is expected Thursday on top of what has already fallen, according to the National Weather Service.

Several law enforcement agencies have asked motorists to stay off the roads during the storm.

Dominion is reporting just two customers are without power in King William, near Route 360.

This story will be updated throughout the day.


Ready your shovels: Snow is in the forecast for the West Point area, with projections calling for 4-6 inches of snow accumulation Wednesday night into Thursday morning.

Little to no accumulation is expected until after 7 p.m. Wednesday, when an estimated 4-6 inches could blanket the area, according to the National Weather Service.

It’s a coin toss whether it will continue to snow before 10 a.m. Thursday, and new snow accumulation would probably total less than one inch. The day is projected to be partly sunny with a high of around 31 degrees, according to the forecast.

Snow is expected to start to fall after 4 a.m. Thursday in upper King William and King & Queen. Meteorologists project 2-4 inches for the area.

Snow is a likely possibility before 7 a.m., with less than half-inch of new snow possible in the upper parts of King William and King & Queen, according to the National Weather Service.

Temperatures in Tidewater are expected to be below freezing until Sunday, the National Weather Service reports.

School closings

West Point Public Schools

King William Public Schools

New Kent Public Schools

King & Queen Public Schools

Jacobs can be reached by phone at 757-298-6007.

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