Motorists in the Fredericksburg area, Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula should plan to use caution if traveling between Thursday afternoon and Friday morning, as road conditions may quickly become hazardous due to heavy rain, flooding and high winds expected to accompany Tropical Storm Michael.
Before starting a trip, travelers can check 511Virginia to see a list of real-time road conditions. 511Virginia will report state-maintained roads partially or completely blocked due to flooding, debris, downed utility lines or other safety hazards.
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews are ready to respond to any unsafe road conditions that develop. Area Headquarters locations across the district will be staffed overnight so crews can quickly remove downed trees and post warning signs for flooded and closed roads.
Construction projects have been inspected to secure barrels, equipment and materials.
Travelers are advised to allow extra travel time, reduce their vehicle speed, and increase following distance between vehicles to improve reaction time.
Additional travel tips:
· Report downed trees, tree debris, or other roadway hazards to VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-FOR-ROAD (367-7623) or online at https://my.vdot.virginia.gov. The Customer Service Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
· Never drive across a flooded roadway. The underlying road or bridge may be damaged or completely washed away beneath flood waters, and a few inches of water can sweep vehicles downstream. Turn around, don’t drown!
· Avoid flood-prone areas, especially along creeks and other low-lying areas.
· Follow proper procedure when a traffic signal is completely dark, or flashing
· Keep headlights on while it’s raining: it’s the law.
· Be alert for tree limbs and other debris in the roadway. Even small branches and other debris can damage a car or cause the driver to lose control.
· If you come across a downed power line, do not try to move it. Contact your local authorities.