Snow, ice keep region's emergency personnel busy

It was white snow and red brake lights that greeted motorists on their Friday evening commute, and icy conditions affected drivers Saturday morning as well.

About 1 to 3 inches of snow fell in the region Friday, with Western Tidewater seeing the most and South Hampton Roads getting about an inch, according to the National Weather Service.

The snow kept police and emergency responders busy. Newport News reported 76 weather-related crashes, including six with non-life-threatening injuries. Virginia Beach police Saturday morning said they were working 10 to 15 accidents “at any given moment throughout the city.” About 160 vehicles were in accidents or disabled in Suffolk between 3 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Saturday, according to officials.

The snowfall ended before midnight, but temperatures remained below freezing overnight, making driving hazardous. 

Temperatures throughout the area were expected to drop as low as the mid to low 20s Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Crews with the Virginia Department of Transportation worked through Saturday to re-treat the roads, using a salt/sand mixture to help prevent snow and ice that melted during the day from refreezing.

VDOT will continue to watch for refreezing, particularly on problem areas such as bridges, overpasses and ramps, although a majority of interstates and roadways have been cleared, said VDOT spokesman Kristopher Purzycki. Drivers were reminded to exercise caution while traveling.

No major traffic incidents were reported Saturday, Purzycki said.

Earlier Saturday morning, VDOT asked drivers to delay travel until temperatures rose. Chesapeake asked motorists to keep at least four car lengths between their vehicles and spreader trucks or plows.

After midnight, the Parks and Recreation Department was scheduled to have salt spreaders applying a sand/salt mixture to the main portions of parking lots at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, Creeds Senior Resources Center, Virginia Animal Care and Adoption Center, all group homes with parking lots, libraries and community recreation centers.

After 7 a.m. Saturday, teams were scheduled to run snow routes with ice melt and push spreaders at front entrances and sidewalks.

The worst of the storm struck Friday just as thousands of workers were trying to get home. Crashes and disabled vehicles exacerbated commuters’ slow slog. By 10 p.m., Virginia State Police had been called to 191 highway crashes in the Hampton Roads area. Statewide, 651 were reported.

In Suffolk, 25 crashes were reported by city officials in a one-hour period. Late Friday, the city had to briefly close the U.S. 58 exit ramps eastbound at Pruden Boulevard, U.S. 58 westbound from downtown Suffolk and the ramps on and off U.S. 58 at Godwin Boulevard because of ice.

Schools throughout Hampton Roads and northeastern North Carolina dismissed classes early on Friday, and several cities announced delayed openings at public buildings and events today. Chesapeake closed its libraries and community centers for today. 

SATs scheduled for today were canceled in school districts including Norfolk, Suffolk and Virginia Beach. The college aptitude tests in Suffolk, Virginia Beach and Dare County were rescheduled for Feb. 16.

The good news is that the end of the bitter cold is in sight. Highs Monday are expected to reach 50 degrees. By Tuesday, the temperatures should be in the low 60s.

Sunday, it should be sunny, with highs in the upper 30s. 

Pilot writers Cindy Clayton and Patrick Wilson contributed to this report. 

Lauren King, 757-446-2309, lauren.king@pilotonline.com

Posted to: News Weather

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That’s not snow. Heck, when I was a kid I had to walk 5 miles every day going to school, thru 3 feet of snow uphill both ways, in 95 degree heat. You kids today have it made.

You forgot...

....uphill both ways.

You forgot...

It was barefoot, too.

that's nothing...

i had to walk uphill, with no feet!

When I was a kid we walked

When I was a kid we walked to school through a blizzard with zero degree visibility and somehow ended up in a movie theater.


After getting up early enough to feed the chickens and chop wood too.

Wow ...

... you had your own chickens? Must have been nice to grow up rich. We ate crows' eggs, and were darned thankful for 'em.

We ate pigeons

And one pigeon doesn't go far for a family of four.

; )


you got to sleep?

And We Liked It That Way

And We Liked It That Way

Yes we did, and when I was kid my parents and the neighbors

parked their cars on the Western branch of the Elizabeth River between City Park and the Hodges Ferry Bridge. We have pictures from the early 60's where more than 40 cars are parked on the river and people are skating and they had a bonfire on the ice to keep warm.

It would be nice if the Pilot dug out some of the photos and stories from the past. Except for old timers I don't think anyone remembers that the various shallow rivers and creeks around Hampton Roads (Tidewater) used to freeze solid enough for cars to drive on.

With dinosaurs nipping at

With dinosaurs nipping at our heels.

It's NOT snow, and the

It's NOT snow, and the article -the Pilot -plays it up too high again with the "1-3 inches fell" across the region when everyone knows 1 inch+ fell primarily across the primary newspaper-reading area of Norf/Va Beach/Port/Ches/Suff.... This business of lumping the Southside with western and northern Tidewater in everything we do or read about is plain silly and out of context.

Thank You!

These comments were funny and silly and reminded me of stories my father used to tell me about have to walk 10 miles to school up hill both ways with no shoes and how he could go to the movies, get a "pop", popcorn and a hotdog and still have a nickel left over. I miss those stories...


He must have been from Ohio. Both of my parents were from Ohio and they use to say "pop" as well.


It isn't just Ohio, I think it is a Midwest thing. Growing up in Wisconsin we called it Pop also and on trips back there they still do.


We called it a can (or bottle, or glass) of pop in IL, too.


I'm from Iowa and still call it pop. People seem to know what I'm taking about :) Been here for 15 years and it still amazes how much trouble a couple of inches of snow causes. Left for work at 4:30 pm and got to NAVSTA at 7:50! On another note, while sitting on 264 close to the interchange I counted 8 cars with their headlights off while dark outside. Reminded me of the recent debate of why there are so many accidents there and people not being able to see anything and blaming the lack of street lights. I think the problem lies with idiots driving with their headlights off! I see it all the time driving to and from work when it's dark.

Good for the weather guys too

It has been pretty boring for the local weather-guessers. At least now they might not have to drive all the way up to Williamsburg to find some bits of snow to play around in and tell us how cold it is.

Last week they forecasted snow, and had to go almost to Richmond to find some. Maybe now they can play somewhat locally to get all school-girl giddy about a couple of flakes.

I am sure they will be out there in their snow boots, with their rulers and cameras trying to find something to make news about.

regain the hill

Meet me atop Trashmore if it snows.

Bring a sled, bring a piece of cardboard, the hood of an old car will suffice.

But above all, bring a gas mask, we're taking the hill back.






It's so refreshing to read posts that are light-hearted, humorous, and completely lacking in any political diatribes or name-calling.

I grew up in a small town north of Muskegon, Michigan, which is right on Lake Michigan. I remember some lake effects storms that piled snow drifts so high up the front of the house that I was able to slide down from my 2nd floor bedroom window. I liked it when the nearby lake froze because my usual 45 minute bus ride to school was reduced to a 10 minute walk across the lake. I'd stop by several of our neighbors' shanties to do some fishing or ride snowmobiles.

With all of that, I don't recall ever my school being closed due to snow.

Have fun in the cold, it is hot down here

Loving it here in Austin, Texas. It was a high of 81 yesterday. Today's forecast, high of 77. It is suppose to be highs in the 70s for the next few days.

I miss Virginia, NOT.

Enjoy your 2-inches of 'snow', your "thunder without the lightning" cold weather.


If you do not miss Virginia, why keep tabs on what is going on here!

I still have family in VA

My parents, siblings and grandmother live in VA. It is what it is. They could move if they want to. For some strange reason, that is home to them. Virginia is where I grew up. I moved because I left the nest. Plus, I prefer the heat, and not the occasional snowstorms, cold breezes and 6 months of below 50-degree weather in the highs.

Well, enjoy the intense heat

Well, enjoy the intense heat and being stuck in air-conditioning all late spring/summer/early fall -we know folks in deep south have to spend much of this time inside. NOT the quality of life most want.

And..we are rarely stuck

And..we are rarely stuck inside much here, not even this week....


I'm in San Antonio and would kill for some snow. 82 degrees in January is NOT normal! I'd rather be stuck in traffic because of the snow than because of people going crazy to go get free tacos (it happened this morning).

You must have lived here all your life

Either you are from San Antonio (born and raised), or you were transferred here against your own will. Snow sucks. Living in Virginia, Pennsylvania, Georgia and Tennessee for the past decade, has got me hooked on living in South Texas - been here for a year now. Can't wait to go vacation in South Padre, in February that is. No cold teases here.....just must desired warmth.

82° in January is normal

82° in January is normal for a lot of people in the world.

Tenn: It's gorgeous here in

Tenn: It's gorgeous here in Florida too. It got up to 72 today.

Florida has the best annual warmth in the lower 48

During Christmas and New Year's, South Texas got bit with the Arctic chill, while Miami and Key West stayed sunny. I heard that the water temperature is warm there, too. But nothing beats Hawaii, except when it comes to dealing with isolation and cost of living.

We are well aware of the

We are well aware of the arctic bites Texas gets in winter, with the winter of 2010 being awful when temps stayed below 25 for 3-4 days. NO FUN. And SEVA does not experience high temps of 50 for 6 months in a row. You're full of yourself...

'Just another reason' to Love my TV remote control - the

perpetual dribble of trite comments by 'TV broadcasters' Nauseous to the extreme. My emergency supplies consist of plenty of batteries for my remote control, the second these 'broadcasters' interrupt my program, it's gone to another station, program. DVD, etc. There is nothing worse than these 'bulletins' - the best defense is a warm remote.

I gotta say, I'm loving some of the coment here today too!

Really do miss(sometimes)growing up in STL with the winters there. Learned to drive in the snow by going to empty parking lots on Sundays(Blue Laws!) to "learn" how a car would fishtail & spin in circles!! Actually did learn some things too!! Grabbing on to the bumpers of passing cars, squatting down & skidding along the packed snow from one place to another. And you know, never once did any of us get hurt (seriously) or not once that I remember, did any of the schools close; they would just shovel it away everyone knew how to get around. My how we(as a society)have gotten less capable. Even in winter I was "urged" to "go out & play & get some fresh air". Didn't matter that it was zero degrees out. "Its good for you!"

I'm jus' sayin'

"Grabbing on to the bumpers

"Grabbing on to the bumpers of passing cars..."

In Chicago, we called that "skitching."


It looks like snoo!!!!

Oh Goodness No!!! Prepare yourselves to be inundated by

the TV News Stations to claim they were the first to report the first snowflake of this winter event today!! There they are - the snow flake alerting teams, heads tilted toward the sky, it's all white, smowflakes are white, how will they tell, which one will call it prematurely? "I though it was a flake, It was just my reflection",, which one will mis-pronounce it? which will try to give it a hipster type title?? Stand by Tidewater neighbors, prepare for the onslaught of 'WE WE WE Were the first to get turned off by viewers like you!! say wha..

Walk through snow.. 95 degrees??? What?!!

You don't make any sense!



Y'all are a stitch. Just a stitch.

Thanks for the giggles!

My Doxie doesn't like the snow.

He leaves footprints and a "Drag Line" in the snow.
Can't say that I blame him.

You telling us his

transmission is dragging?

Just for a short while.

The longer he is out the more shallow the trail. Must be the seal below the tailshaft contracts with the cold.

I Love It

It is so cold the politicians have their hands in their own pockets.

and the kids are loving it!

Everyone of the local stations have the children....oops....weather guessers...out playing in the snow telling us it is snowing, and showing us how much it is snowing.

I really am happy for them. When we have a severe storm, they can play out in the wind and rain, and now they can play in the snow.

Wonder how much that education costs?

My 2 yearold grand daughter

loves it!

She didn't want to come inside even though her cheeks were red.

Ahh...the magic of childhood. No worries beyond what game is next.

great picture!

There we have Mr. Idiot in his SUV. His $50,000 $-wheel drive. He is immune to to snow. Well, dummy.....Look at your fancy truck now!
I love seeing the macho drivers with their expensive 4-wheel drive vehicles up against the wall!. Grow up!

what's so great about it?

First time I've ever seen you happy, and it was at the expense of someone's bad fortune.

Wow - what an ignorent

Wow - what an ignorent comment! And you have 8 to 4 to the positive comments at the time of this writing, which proves once again that this place is chock full of ignorance. First of all, the $50,000 $-wheel drive you referred to is a full sized Ford Bronco that was last made in 1996. You can pick one up for about $5K. It's not close to being fancy compared to SUVs of the 2000's. Secondly, you must be some kind of special person to be able to tell what the Bronco was doing prior to the accident and that the person driving was trying to be "macho" as you put it.

High Fiving

The local weather guessers are high Fiving saying, "we finally nailed it".

you're kidding right?

If you made it through the blizzard of 77 then you can talk to me about snow. Why is the weather a major story every time it snows a little bit ?

It's obvious why 'adverse' weather conditions prevail on our

local 'news cast' They have 30 minutes to fill. They lack investigative journalist skills to report any real 'stories' and weather and sports are no brainers, requires little skill other than interpetating the conditions outside - tonights reporting was sad real sad, but they got it right, snow came falling from up above and being a solid it managed to cover the ground surfaces, and it might change form and turn into slick frozen water substance called ice, so be careful when out there driving, not like this guy in his big SUV which connect with a jersey wall because, it appears, he was driving too fast for conditions and din't know how to control his vehicle once it started sliding on the frozen water substance called snow and ice, slick.

Bizzard of 80

Awww the bizzard of 80 seems like yesterday... Snow was up to car windows,the police told people to stay inside but there were those who had to drive to the store to get beer and cigarettes. Many came back from the store in tow trucks,that was snow. Then you had those trapped at scope smelling circus animals all night.

Blizzard of 80

I had a 71 Nova that drove through that blizzard like a champ.

From then on I affectionately referred to her as Snowva.

Wish I had held on to her, I loved that machine.

Thanks, guys!

After sitting in traffic for hours, I needed this silliness!

As usual the problem wasn't the roads, it was the drivers

Thankfully it only took an extra 10 minutes to get from Suffolk through the midtown tunnel to Norfolk around 5:30. The roadways were well prepared and no problem! The only problem were the occasional terrified nellies straddling lanes at 10 mph and obstructing everyone else from getting around them to maintain their steady 35 on a treated, clear roadway. If you don't know how to drive, stop being a hazard and stay off the roads.


Well that isn't true for every road. Apparently you lucked onto a road that had been treated. If you had found your way to Military Highway you would be singing a different tune Mr. Arrogant!!


2 inches of snow in Tidewater and we go into vapor lock, it never gets old.

A dusting of snow and Tidewater is crippled for days

Just the possibility of snow closes schools.....these folks running this show should be fired. A resource that is abundant (sand/salt) and they can't take care of business.......because they shouldn't be in the business to start with! Wake up and get someone on the job that has a little experience beyond cutting the grass on the shoulders!

Snow & VDOT don't match

If you knew it's going to snow,you ( VDOT ) should have pre-treat ramps,bridges & intersection with salt. You don't use sand on this little bit of snow. 10 % calciumchloride liquid is better & faster to spread than salt crystals,Calcium chloride is effective down to a temperature of -25 degrees Fahrenheit and is some two to 13 times faster than other products. Although it is more expensive than some other deicers and similar in price to magnesium chloride, pound for pound it melts twice as much ice, according to Peters Chemical Co. In industrial and highway applications it is often applied as a liquid. Together with cheaper solutions, such as rock salt, it significantly improves performance. (Rock salt by itself is effective to about 15 degrees Fahre

How about not treating it at

How about not treating it at all? The result is not worth the damage to the environment.

and vdot drops the ball again for the 2nd

Snow day this year.

There were more than 40 crashes in the span of 10 miles yesterday in smithfield/ suffolk and not one road treated.

Virginians arent cold weather drivers, yet vdot cant seem to get their trucks on the roads to do their job.

They must have spent all their money on those refined 6.1 million dollar tourist signs that never have the correct info on them.

I can deal with the snow

I've lived in lots of places that get WAY more snow than yesterday. I can deal with it, but at the same time I understand that people around here aren't used to that kind of weather, so I was prepared for the nightmare commute home yesterday (normally 35 minutes, took 2 hrs 50 mins). I can deal with that. It's rare enough, I'm not going to get bent out of shape over a bit of traffic. But FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, why was Chick-fil-A closed when I FINALLY made it there on the way home!? Every other restaurant and fast-food joint was open. Did they think they were helping employees by sending them home during the peak of rush hour?

I find the number

of car crashes unbelievable! 191 here and 651 statewide! I'd rather ride with a legally drunk driver than a sober Virginian driving in the snow. Sheeesh.

Roads still bad

Wow, I am impressed. Usually by now we have countless Northerners commenting we dont now how to drive down in the snow down. The point is, it makes no difference if there is 1 inch or 10 inches, if there is ice on the road, your car can lose contact with the road just as easy and slide. Thanks for refraining, this one time.


Yes, there are ALWAYS the folks from up north who love telling us that we can't drive in snow. They act as if absolutely no one up there ever has an accident in the snow. Yeah, right. The same laws of physics apply up there just as they do down here. If you aren't careful you can get into trouble no matter where you live. And for some reason that escapes me, some drivers of 4-wheel drive vehicles don't get that 4-wheel drive merely gives them extra traction to get started. It doesn't mean they can drive like the roads are dry when conditions get slick. Guess they watch too many commercials.

I do the speed limit in the

I do the speed limit in the snow with no problem. I would suggest you spend some time up north and watch and learn. What occurs here is embarrassing. Worst part is that the drivers here are still inconsiderate by not using blinkers, jerking in front of people, sudden stoips, and so on. Like it is some declared emergency.

From the pictures….

….if the Bronco was a 4X4 someone learned a lesson. Those things don’t stop a darn bit better than anything else on slick roads. Especially when they’re locked down. That has to be embarrassing in front of all those commuters. Well earned.

Looks as if it had some coin spent on it. Too bad. Hope he didn’t cause someone else to mess their vehicle up.

How much?

From the picture, how can you tell the person driving the Bronco was doing so recklessly? If you can do that, I have some pictures I'd like you to look at so I can find out what was going on before the picture was taken.

VDOT Management is Unqualified

The Management of VDOT is not qualified to run our highways. Everyone in VA knew of the upcoming snow storm except VDOT. When it hit at 3pm, traffic became gridlocked as drivers lost control of their cars due to ice and snow. Maybe its time to contract this part of VDOTs job to someone else and eliminate VDOT all together. We don't need their services so some of the wasted tax dollars spent on this organization can be spent on contractors that can maintain our highways. VDOT YOUR FIRED!

Death, Taxes, and VDOT being incompetent

Most of I-64 from the Peninsula to Richmond was not plowed or treated. I-664 and the M&M was a disaster. There was ice on the HRBT and M&M causing numerous wrecks. I saw not one of their trucks yesterday. They are a joke as usual.

Roads with that tiny amount

Roads with that tiny amount do not need to be treated. The majority of your urban roads were black as coal once traffic started moving. Even a plowed road leaves ice and snow on the road. The chemicals are just are bad for all of us an unnecessary.

boring stuff

The alleged 78 comments must be some of the most boring posts one could imagine. Paralized by 2-3 inches of snow? Appears so.

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