SALEM, Va. (WFXR) – With a winter storm expected to continue across southwest Virginia throughout the day, the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Salem District is urging residents to stay home and avoid travel for the time being.

Even though VDOT crews and contractors are working around the clock to plow and treat roads in the region, the department says all roads — including interstates, primary and secondary roads, and neighborhood streets — in southwest Virginia are covered with a layer of snow, even the ones that have been plowed because of the ongoing snowfall.

As long as the snow continues to fall, VDOT says crews and contractors will focus their efforts on the roads carrying the most traffic, which means they will make repeated passes over I-77, I-81, I-51, and the primary roads (those numbered 1 to 599).

In the meantime, VDOT has made the following suggestions for both drivers and residents: 

  • Avoid travel: With the snowfall continuing overnight and into the morning, even roads that have been plowed roads are being covered again with snow. However, once the snow stops, VDOT says operators will be able to make more progress and road conditions will improve.
  • Park off the road to allow plows to clear the road ahead: Make it easier for snowplow drivers to clear the roads in your neighborhood by not parking in the street or in cul-de-sacs.
  • Shovel to the right when facing the road so plows will push less snow back into driveways when they pass.

You can check out the latest road condition information by dialing 511 or visiting VDOT’s 511 traffic map.  www.511Virginia.org