Feb 25 2015

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State Agencies Provide Assistance Following Winter Storms    

Front_0011Commonwealth agencies continue to support local governments and citizens following a week of freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall, treacherous driving conditions and dangerously low wind chill values. Forecasters are predicting additional snow and wintry precipitation across Virginia this week.


As part of the state of emergency issued by Gov. Terry McAuliffe Feb. 16, the following state agencies are providing support. This declaration will remain in effect as long as state resources are needed to assist local governments and Virginians impacted by winter storms.

Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) – Crews in the Bristol District provided assistance with road clearance in Wise County in support of public safety operations. Statewide, VDOT has enough equipment, supplies and materials should another storm hit the commonwealth this week.

During the height of a statewide storm, 2,500 crew members in addition to contractors work in shifts to treat roads and remove snow. VDOT and its contractors have nearly 12,000 pieces of equipment, including plows, trucks and motor graders for snow removal operations. VDOT started the season with over 550,000 tons of salt, sand and treated abrasives and about 565,000 gallons of calcium chloride and salt brine.

Front_0060Virginia State Police (VSP) – VSP Aviation is currently assisting with damage assessments in Wise County and other targeted locations in Southwest Virginia hit hardest by the recent snow storms. VSP Search and Recovery Team divers were staged in Southwest Virginia Sunday through Monday as a precautionary measure for any flash flooding that may have occurred with Sunday’s warmer temperatures. Those crews have now been de-mobilized as temperatures have stabilized. VSP will continue to monitor the forecast for additional inclement weather later this week. If necessary, shifts will be extended and additional troopers called to duty so as to expedite response times to traffic crashes, disabled vehicles and other emergency calls for service.

Front_2678Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) – Personnel and equipment have been sent to the Town of Norton and Wise County to provide snow removal assistance to prevent ice damming and flood-related issues to critical infrastructure sites throughout the county. Crews also assisted VDOT with clearing several roads in Scott County.

Virginia Department of Fire Programs – Two Fire Marshals have been sent to assist with damage assessments in Wise County. Additionally, one Mobile Incident Support Team chief has been sent to assist with the development of an Incident Action Plan.

Virginia National Guard – The Virginia National Guard has almost 20 Soldiers on state active duty in Wise and Highland counties today to assist local emergency response officials.

Soldiers from the Cedar Bluff-based 1033rd Engineer Company continued to assist Wise County officials with mobility and commodity transportation missions. Soldiers assisted a citizen to an ambulance for medical assistance, transported emergency medical services (EMS) personnel to a medical emergency and evacuated a mother and daughter to a safe location. They also delivered food and water to seven different locations.

Soldiers from the Staunton-based 116th Infantry Brigade Combat Team continued to be on standby to assist the Highland County Sheriff’s Department and EMS with possible transport missions to rural areas where roads have not been cleared.

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