City is Preparing for Impending Winter Storm
The City of Virginia Beach is monitoring forecasts and preparing for the approaching winter storm due to arrive late Thursday night through Saturday morning. City crews are ready — preparing for storm operations.
"We will be keeping a close eye on the track of the storm and are ready to begin treating the roads and streets based on the most current forecasts," said Public Works Director L.J. Hansen. He offered some things you should know:
- The Public Works Department has 30 trucks prepared with 3,000 tons of salt, 1500 tons of mixed abrasives, and 3000 gallons of brine.
- Virginia Beach has more than 900 lane-miles of primary roads and an additional 300 lane-miles of priority secondary streets to plow. Once the storm begins, crews will be operating on 12-hour shifts.
- Residential neighborhood streets will not be plowed due to limited City supply of snowplows being directed towards highly trafficked roadways.
- If the storm interrupts residential waste collection on Friday, it most likely will be picked up on the following Monday, Jan. 24. Regardless, collections will resume as soon as conditions allow. Please put your can out by the curb as usual and leave it there — crews will get to it as soon as possible.
- Normal yard debris and bulk item collections will also be suspended at the same time.
- The Landfill and Resource Recovery Center will operate on the same schedule as other City facilities and offices. If you have any questions, please call 385-4650, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or visit VBgov.com/wastemgt.
- If you see downed trees blocking City streets, please call 311 (landlines within city limits) or 385-3111.
- City officials urge residents and visitors to please stay off slick roads, if possible. If you must be out, please give yourself extra time to get to your destination. Drive with caution, and if the plow trucks are out treating the streets and roadways, please give them plenty of room to do their work.
What Citizens Should Do Now — Before the Storm
Citizens are encouraged to take the following steps now to prepare and protect their home and vehicles.
- Prevent Frozen Pipes
- Moving water will not freeze so allow a steady drip of cold water to flow from the highest faucet in your home. (Using cold instead of hot water will save money.)
- When plumbing is near an outside wall, open cabinet doors under sinks so room heat can reach the pipes.
- Locate your private water shut-off valve so you'll be prepared to turn your water off if your pipes do freeze and burst. You don't want to have to wait even a few minutes for Public Utilities or a plumber to respond to shut off your water.
- For more tips on how to protect your pipes during cold weather, visit VBgov.com/protect-your-pipes.
- Make an emergency supply kit that will last at least 72 hours (3-days) and includes: non-perishable foods, lanterns, flashlight, spare batteries, battery-powered radio, first-aid kit, 3-gallons of water for each person and extra prescription medications in case roads are blocked and/or there are power outages. Create a kit especially for seniors, children, persons with special needs and your pets.
- Charge all your devices (phone, tablets, etc.). Invest in a battery-operated charger and have a car charger that you can use in case you lose power in your home.
- Bring pets inside from the cold.
- Check on elderly or homebound neighbors, family and friends to ensure they are ready for this storm and any possible inconveniences or interruptions that may result. Have a battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and extra batteries for emergency information. Listen to local weather forecasts and instructions from local officials.
- Do NOT heat your home with a gas range or oven. If you are using a space heater or generator:
- Never leave a kerosene heater on while you are sleeping. Carbon monoxide build-up from the heater can be deadly.
- Be sure to plug electric space heaters directly into the wall socket. Do not use extension cords with electric space heaters or surge protector boxes.
- Remember the 3-foot rule. Make sure the space heater is at least 3 feet away from anything combustible (curtains, bedding / furniture, clothes, etc.).
- Do not put a generator inside the house, garage or in a closed space. Place the generator outside in a well-ventilated area and at least 20 feet from doors, windows and vents to prevent CO poisoning. Follow manufacturers' instructions.
- If you are using a fueled space heater, make sure to only use the fuel recommended by the manufacturer. Never use gasoline to fuel a space heater that runs on kerosene.
- If you have a working fireplace, be sure to place ashes in a metallic or non-combustible container. Wait at least 72-hours before throwing ashes away, as they can smolder for days.
- Check the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home.
Sledding Prohibited at Mount Trashmore Park
As a reminder, sledding is prohibited at Mount Trashmore Park. Along with the risk of injuries, public safety officials do not want residents traveling to the park on icy and snowy roads. Responding to accidents and injuries also means that Fire, Police, and EMS must send valuable resources out in hazardous conditions when they are already busy during weather emergencies. In the event of an accumulating snowfall, the park will be closed to all visitors.
Vaccine and Testing Clinics Closed for Remainder of Week
The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health has canceled all vaccine and testing clinics scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 20 through Saturday, Jan. 22. Those who have scheduled appointments will be notified by email. Please visit http://vase.vdh.virginia.gov/ or call 1-877-VAX-INVA (877-829-4682) for alternate testing and vaccination locations.
Testing and vaccination clinics will reopen next week starting Tuesday, Jan. 25. Visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/virginia-beach/covid-19 to find locations and appointment links.
The Homeless Outreach Team is going out into the community to assess the needs of unsheltered individuals and connecting them to shelter beds, as space is available. The team is also providing individuals with resources, such as blankets, gloves, bottled water and hand warmers.
If you need help, information or resources before, during or after the storm, call 311. Only call 911 for emergencies. Those with hearing impairments can call 711 for the Virginia Relay Center.