Snow, slush turn to icy patches across southwest, central Virginia roads

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(Photo: Courtesy MGN Image)

(WFXR) — The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) warns drivers to watch out for icy patches on the roads throughout southwest and central Virginia because of the possibility that the low temperatures overnight caused moisture leftover from Thursday’s winter storm to refreeze.

If roads appear wet on Friday, Feb. 19, the department says it may actually be black ice after subfreezing temperatures caused spots of ice to form on previously treated roadways, especially along secondary roads, bridges, and overpasses.

According to VDOT’s Salem District, operators worked on secondary roads and neighborhood streets (those numbered 600 and above) during the nighttime hours on Thursday, Feb. 18, making significant progress.

However, the department says many unpaved secondary roads are still covered in a layer of frozen snow or ice, but those conditions are expected to improve as soon as temperatures rise above freezing.

In VDOT’s Staunton District, Thursday’s winter weather dumped anywhere between one and five inches of wintry mix on roads in the Shenandoah Valley and the Alleghany Highlands. While northern counties saw mostly snow, the southern ones primarily saw sleet and freezing rain.

Here are the road conditions around the Staunton District as of 4 a.m. on Friday:

  • I-64 – Clear conditions in Alleghany and Rockbridge counties.
  • I-81 – Clear conditions in Rockbridge County.
  • Primary roads – Minor conditions in Bath and Highland counties. Clear conditions in Alleghany and Rockbridge counties.
  • Secondary roads – Minor conditions in Alleghany, Bath, Rockbridge, and Highland counties.

“The Virginia Department of Transportation advises motorists to postpone non-essential travel until temperatures rise well above freezing,” the Staunton District of VDOT said in Friday morning’s statement. “Those who must drive should adjust their speed for the icy conditions, allow for much longer stopping distances, and leave extra time to reach their destination. Seatbelts are a must for all travelers.”

However, for motorists who cannot avoid traveling, VDOT’s Salem District asks you to follow the steps listed below before you head out on your Friday morning commute:

  • Completely clear any ice and snow from your vehicles.
  • Drive carefully and cautiously.
  • Pay extra attention to coolers spots like bridges, overpasses, and shaded areas.
  • Watch out for downed trees or debris in the roadway.

If you need to report downed trees or debris in the roadway, call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at (800) 367-7623 or visit You can also access the latest road condition information at

As of this writing, VDOT is reporting weather-related closures or snowy/icy conditions on routes from the following localities around southwest and central Virginia:

  • Bland County
  • Carroll County
  • Charlotte County
  • Franklin County
  • Grayson County
  • Henry County
  • Halifax County
  • Montgomery County
  • Nelson County
  • Pittsylvania County
  • Wythe County

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