Winter Storm Causes Havoc on Area Roads

By: Michael Gorsegner Email
By: Michael Gorsegner Email

February 14, 2007

A mix of rain, sleet and snow fell causing treacherous road conditions all across the area.

"I was sliding all along the roads," said Evette Smith.

Early this morning, drivers in the Charlottesville region were treated to a dose of wintry mix that blanketed the ground and slickened up the roads.

"Very few people had gone out in it and I don't blame them," said Lester Smith.

"Early this morning it was pretty slick out here," said Joe Black.

Black had to battle those slippery conditions because he is one of the guys who fixes them. Black spent the day clearing away snow and sleet from parking lots at three Albemarle County Public Schools. He says he loves getting out into the elements.

"You got to have a knack for it. Growing up on a farm I enjoy the outside and I wouldn't want to be sitting inside the house today anyway," he said.

A warm winter sun and rising temperatures helped the freezing rain turn to slush. By early afternoon, road crews had a handle on most of the primary roads including Interstate 64. However, officials say, as the sun goes down, the roads could slicken up.

"We will be expecting some of the moisture that is left on the roads to refreeze overnight," said Lou Hatter from VDOT.

For that reason, road crews are still hitting the areas hard trying to remove as much of the wintry mix as possible.

"If you leave the snow dammed up against the travel lane, the water has nowhere to go, it ends up pooling and that can cause problems for motorists and freeze overnight," Hatter said.

You can already see the evidence of a refreeze. Officials say they are not so worried about the primary roads, rather the secondary roads could give drivers the problems tonight.

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