Gov. McAuliffe Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Winter Storm

by | Jan 21, 2016 | Government

Photo of Governor Terry McAuliffe declaring a state of emergency, as shared via Twitter.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe declared a state of emergency ahead of the major winter storm expected to impact the Commonwealth through Sunday, Jan. 24, 2016.

In declaring a state of emergency, the governor authorizes state agencies to assist local governments to identify and position resources for quick response anywhere they are needed in Virginia. This action does not apply to individuals or private businesses.

“All Virginians should take the threat of this storm seriously and take necessary precautions now to ensure they are prepared for travel disruptions and possible power outages during this cold weather period,” Governor McAuliffe said.

State Preparations
Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews are on 24-hour operations and are pretreating roads where temperatures permit. Motorists are strongly encouraged to stay off the roads during the storm. For information about road and traffic conditions, check www.511virginia.org or call 511 before traveling. “Driving conditions during the storm are expected to be hazardous and motorists are urged to stay off the roads until the storm passes,” said Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne.

The Virginia State Police have all uniformed personnel and necessary specialty units ready for response to the next round of increased volumes in traffic crashes, disabled vehicles, and other storm-related emergencies. Virginians are advised to plan ahead for slick, treacherous road conditions. They can also help reduce traffic crashes and delays by avoiding travel during the storm.

The Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring up to 500 personnel on state active duty for possible assistance with the state’s severe winter weather response operations. The Guard plans to stage personnel at readiness centers in key locations across the commonwealth in order to be ready to rapidly respond if needed. The alert process to notify personnel to report for duty began Wednesday afternoon, and the Guard plans to have forces in place and ready to go by early evening on Thursday, Jan. 21. Potential missions for the Guard include transportation through heavy snow, downed tree removal, debris reduction and distribution of food, water and other supplies.

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