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Wintry Mix of Precipitation Hits Central Virginia


January 2, 2014

Mother Nature served up three kinds of precipitation on the second day of the year. Central Virginians were hit with a mix of rain, sleet and snow on Thursday, taking some by surprise.

"It was all covered. We were actually like, 'Oh my gosh!' because we hadn't looked outside," said Albemarle County driver Kristin Skidmore.

The weather was impacted by a storm that is taking over much of the northeast.

Sophie Steele's flight into the Charlottesville Albemarle Airport Thursday night, like others', was delayed by more than an hour.

"I was coming from Florida," said Steele. "So nice 80 degree weather."

But the weather conditions seemed to have less of an impact on the ground.

"The roads are not that bad. I mean, it's slushy, but it's not bad driving conditions," said Skidmore.

Above-freezing temperatures kept it from sticking throughout the day, but when temperatures dip overnight, that could change.

Anything that's on the ground could turn to ice.

"Once you hit black ice, the vehicle has a mind of its own," said Don Houchens, who works at Merchant's Tire and Auto Center in Albemarle County.

Houchens says, even if you have a vehicle with four-wheel drive, you're not immune to slick, icy roads.

"You can have four wheels spinning, which is totally out of control," he said.

To help keep some control, VDOT will be coating busy roads with salt and sand.

But Houchens says all those preparations don't mean a thing unless you're driving defensively.

"You have control over what you do. You don't have control over what the other person's doing," he said.

As drivers deal with soggy and possibly slippery roads, some are making the best of it, too.

"We actually threw a couple of snowballs," said Skidmore.

To see a list of current road conditions, visit VDOT's traffic website by clicking HERE.


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