City prepares for winter storm threat
Public Works Department crews have begun pretreating the major thoroughfares, bridges, and overpasses because of a winter storm that is forecast to bring snow and possibly sleet and freezing rain to the city over the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday weekend.
The National Weather Service in Blacksburg says the storm that will produce accumulating snowfall, possibly mixed with sleet and freezing rain. At this point, however, there is uncertainty over the timing, type and amount of precipitation for Danville.
“We are waiting on the storm to evolve,” meteorologist Erik Taylor said Thursday morning. “We will be collecting more data today and looking at changes in the computer models.”
Taylor said a high-pressure system north of the region will determine the storm’s timing and make the difference in whether the storm will be an all-snow event for Danville or a mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain. A mix of precipitation would suppress snow accumulations, which he said are too early to project.
The storm could arrive late Saturday night, but it is more likely that it will begin Sunday morning. Currently, the peak of the storm is expected on Sunday afternoon, but continuing overnight before ending Monday morning.
Citizens should monitor the latest forecasts for any changes in track and timing.
Public Works crews are pretreating the major thoroughfares, bridges, and overpasses with brine, which is a mixture of water and salt. The water in the brine evaporates, leaving the salt behind on the road. The salt breaks the bond between the snow and the roadway, and it, therefore, helps prevent the snow from freezing onto roads and bridges.
Residential streets are not pretreated.
Public Works trucks are mounted with snowplows. When the storm arrives, crews will begin working 12-hour, round-the-clock shifts. Crews begin plowing major thoroughfares when an inch of snow accumulates on street surfaces.
Residents and visitors can learn more about snow removal operations and read winter safety tips by visiting the City’s weather page: danvilleva.gov/weather.
Danville Utilities crews are prepared to respond as needed. In the event of large-scale outages, crews will work staggered 16-hour shifts. Customers are encouraged to review the Danville Utilities’ storm preparation guide: https://danvilleutilities.com/attachments/2021_Danville-Utilities_Storm-Preparation-Guide_INT.pdf
If any resident or visitor needs shelter, then they should call the City of Danville non-emergency number, which is 434-799-5111, option 8. Arrangements for shelter will be made.