VDOT urges drivers not to travel Thursday as winter storm looms

This Christmas, Santa may not be the only one who needs a sleigh to get around. 

With winter weather moving in, officials are urging holiday travelers to take caution.

The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) sent out a press release early Wednesday afternoon, saying, "Travelers are advised to shift holiday travel to Wednesday if possible. Travel on Thursday is not advised, especially through the western regions of Virginia along the Interstate 81 corridor, to avoid potentially hazardous conditions created by forecasted winter weather."

But if travelers still need to hit the road, VDOT Spokesperson Matt Monta said to plan ahead. One of his recommendations is to look over your entire route using the traffic cameras at 511virginia.org before you leave.

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"Just because it’s sunny when you leave doesn’t mean there won’t be freeing rain, you know, halfway through or when you get there," Monta explained.

He also said to pack an emergency vehicle kit with items like blankets, food, and water – and to make sure your phone is charged.

Some would-be travelers told FOX 5 Wednesday night that they’ve already changed their plans due to the forecast.

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"I was traveling to visit my family in Richmond, but I'm gonna stay home," Kiry Martinez said.

Others, meanwhile, said they weren’t worried about the weather and still planned to drive.

"As long as you know how to drive," Ihsan Dura said, "you have to be careful, that’s all."

For more information from VDOT, you can click here.