SALEM, Va. (WFXR) – The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) is asking drivers to simply stay at home on Sunday by saying, “avoid being on the roads at all on Sunday, Jan. 16.”

VDOT’s Salem District is mobilizing its teams for a winter storm that will impact our region on Sunday with snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Interstates 81 and 77 appear to be the near-focal points for the worst of the precipitation, though all parts of the region can expect a wintry mix through the day on Sunday and into the evening.

VDOT says equipment operators have completed pre-treating interstates, primary roads and high-volume secondary roads across western Virginia on Friday.

Trucks are being asked to consider avoiding travel on Interstate 81 on Sunday and into Monday as the roadway’s steep terrain can increase the hazardous nature of travel.

During the storm, snowplow operators will first work on interstates and primary roads, so secondary roads and neighborhood streets will become covered in snow, potentially deep snow before crews will get them plowed.

Drivers are asked not to slow down or hinder snow removal operations by parking in streets or cul-de-sacs or abandoning them in roadways.

If you must drive, be prepared with essential items:

  • Keep at least a half talk of gas in your vehicle
  • Keep a blanket in your vehicle as well as winter clothing (winter coat, heavy shoes or boots, gloves and a hat)
  • Have a snow shovel and a bag of sand or cat litter with your vehicle
  • Jumper cables, a flashlight, batteries, ice scraper, phone charger and a map (in case your phone’s battery goes dead) inside of your vehicle.
  • Have non-perishable snacks and water in your vehicle.

VDOT also says that if you must be on the road, do not pass snowplows.

Road conditions can be found online at 511virginia.org.

VDOT’s Customer Service Center can be reached at 1-800-367-7623 or online by clicking here.

Track the progress of snowplows, which will begin plowing roads when snow accumulates to at least two inches by clicking here.