Virginia declares state of emergency ahead of next winter snowstorm
RICHMOND, Va. - Virginia has already declared a state of emergency ahead of a new winter snowstorm that's expected to move into the D.C. region Thursday night into Friday morning.
The storm could bring an additional four inches of snow to the northern Virginia area that is still dealing with the impact of Monday's blizzard.
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Monday's storm brought 12 inches or more to some parts of northern Virginia. The winter weather brought power outages, closed schools and shut down Interstate 95 leaving hundreds of motorists stranded overnight into Tuesday.
Virginia officials defending their response to the snowstorm saying the gridlock were caused by a combination of unusually heavy snowfall, plunging temperatures and a rainy start that kept them from pretreating the roads.
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Many Stafford County residents are also still without power as they prepare for Thursday night's snow. FOX 5 spoke with residents at the Stonegate Apartments who are now going on day four with no power.
"We have to throw away food whenever it does come back on. It has been below 30-something degrees. It has been a lot right now. And the neighborhoods were not getting plowed. Everyone in the neighborhood had to work together to get ourselves out," says Stafford resident Shakarla Brown.
Dominion Energy says there are still thousands of power outages across Virginia. The hardest-hit areas are Fredericksburg, Charlottesville and pockets of Stafford.
READ MORE: Virginia families keep warm in cars as power still out for thousands in Stafford following storm
Crews are seeing more damage than reported as a result of down trees and branches along with fallen powerlines, but are working to restore power as quickly as possible.
The concern remains that there will be lower temperatures during Thursday night's snowfall which could bring wet, slick and icy conditions.
Dominion says when the roads are bad, it slows them down and makes it more difficult to get power back on for customers.
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A press conference was held on Thursday with Virginia agencies including the Department of Emergency Management, Virginia Department of Transportation and state police.
Their main message is for everyone to stay off the roads and avoid travel. However, if you have to be out:
- Keep distance between you and other vehicles
- Drive and brake slowly
- Do not pass crews clearing the roads