Virginia crews pre-treat roadways ahead of snowfall expected Thursday night

The Virginia Department of Transportation says crews have been pre-treating roadways since Wednesday night in preparation for snowfall on Thursday night, something they weren't able to do before Monday's snowstorm that caused major headaches.

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VDOT officials say they're going to deploy about 2,600 trucks just in the northern Virginia area Thursday night.

Officials say before the storm starts, they put down salt brine solution to prevent ice from sticking to the ground.

Then, once snow starts to fall, crews will put down rock salt, and once two inches or more of snow accumulates, they can start plowing.

SNOWSTORM FORECAST: More snow on the way for DC region

"We’re focusing on a couple of things here. One, the snowfall rate that’s going to happen overnight," says VDOT spokesperson Ellen Kamilakis. "Even though we have less drivers on the road, northern Virginia is a very vibrant, 24/7 area. We have a lot of third-shift workers, and so we know people are going to get on the roads."

VDOT also says crews have pre-treated I-95 in the Fredericksburg area where an intense traffic issue shut down the interstate for more than 18 hours, leaving some to spend the night in their cars without food or water.

VDOT says they have plow trucks out on I-95 that will circulate along the interstate and ramps all night Thursday and into Friday.

READ MORE: Virginia declares state of emergency ahead of next winter snowstorm

Six towing crews will also be staging to help respond to any crashes and disabled vehicles. Officials still want drivers to avoid travel tomorrow, but if you need to head out, here are some tips to follow:

- Give yourself some extra time for your commute

- Drive at least 10 MPH slower than the posted speed limit

- Use extreme caution on elevated surfaces such as bridges, ramps and overpasses

- Leave at least three car lengths worth of room for plow trucks on the roadways

- Clear snow from your car completely before leaving to prevent any from falling and becoming a hazard for other drivers


Tens of thousands of Virginians are also bracing for this second round of winter weather this week without power. Dominion Energy told FOX 5 they hope to have the majority of those power outages restored by Friday evening.