LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — Lynchburg and surrounding areas are expecting their first taste of winter on Monday morning, with possible snowfall piling up to an inch or more.
For many people, this seems hard to believe after seeing warmer, more spring-like temperatures within the last few days.
When walking around Lynchburg during the first weekend of January, you could see plenty of folks wearing shorts, t-shirts, and similar clothes outside.
However, city officials are warning the community to prepare for some snow, ice, and wind on Monday, Jan. 3.
Roadway experts are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst when it comes to Monday’s weather conditions.
“As soon as the snow really starts to hit the ground, we’re going to have our crews out there trying to take care of it and get it out of the way,” said Len Stevens, communications manager for the Virginia Department of Transportation’s (VDOT) Lynchburg District. “The problem is this event is going to start as rain. That means we cannot pretreat the roads, any pretreatment that is put down will simply be washed away.”
Even city officials in places like Danville are getting ready to treat bridges and overpasses when the rain turns into snow.
According to Danville’s public information officer, Arnold Hendrix, “Motorists need to slow down, be cautious on their way to work tomorrow morning. And for our utility customers, they need to be prepared as well. They should make sure that they have adequate clothing and blankets to keep warm in case there are any power outages.”
Power outages aren’t expected in many areas of southwest and central Virginia. However, officials recommend having flashlights, batteries, blankets, and chargers nearby.
In addition, AAA Mid-Atlantic Spokesperson Morgan Dean suggests being cautious on your morning commute.
“Even though it’s warm this evening, getting down around that freezing mark, we can really be in for some problems as that precipitation starts to change over and perhaps starts to freeze on the roadways,” said Dean.
These safe driving tips include leaving extra space between you and the vehicle in front of you, as well as having a flashlight, extra food, water, and warm clothes in case of a breakdown on the road.
Folks at ACE Hardware in Lynchburg recommend practicing the same amount of caution at home when prepping your driveway or walkway. They suggest using pet-safe ice melt.
If you don’t have ice melt, one expert says using kitty litter is a safe alternative.
ACE Hardware Manager Karl Overstreet says he always tells customers to use a metal shovel or one with a metal tip.
“Later in the week, the snow can melt and refreeze in the morning, so even though the snow might just be tomorrow, there could be ice patches later in the week,” said Overstreet.
“We also expect this snow initially to be kind of heavy wet snow. So that’s going to be weighty,” added Stevens on behalf of VDOT. “So when you’re shoveling, especially if you haven’t shoveled in a long time, take it easy out there.”
VDOT plans to have plow trucks out if accumulation hits about two inches or more.