A major snowfall in the Richmond area wreaked havoc on Sunday, causing dangerous road conditions and grounding flights. On Sunday night, the National Weather Service recorded 9 inches of snow at Richmond International Airport with more precipitation expected throughout the night.
The Virginia Department of Transportation, the Virginia State Police and Mayor Levar Stoney on Sunday urged motorists to stay off the roads due to dangerous, wintry conditions.
Snow and ice reduced many streets and highways to one lane with cars skidding or crashing under the slippery conditions.
Throughout the day, Richmond police received more than 111 calls for accidents or disabled vehicles.
Virginia State Police had responded to more than 120 crashes statewide, including at least 68 wrecks in its Richmond division. No fatalities were reported due to those accidents.
Authorities in Chesterfield, Hanover and Henrico counties spent most of their day responding to calls involving car accidents and disabled vehicles due to the snowstorm.
State and county officials advised motorists to stay off the roads until conditions improved.
The city of Richmond closed the Boulevard Bridge because of snow, and there were numerous road closures throughout the area.
Richmond International Airport remained open on Sunday with two open runways but saw 98 flight cancellations. Several flight cancellations were already scheduled for Monday. Those who will be flying on Monday are advised to check their flight status before heading to the airport.
Roads were expected to get worse overnight as many cleared roads were expected to refreeze and become even more slick.
“This is what a normal January or February snowstorm looks like,” VDOT spokeswoman Lindsay LeGrand said Sunday. “We’re hitting the roads hard.”
She said VDOT had 2,500 crew members from around the state and contractors working around the clock to plow roads.
Crews will focus on treating interstates and primary roads first, then major secondary roads near hospitals and emergency facilities, and then other secondary roads and subdivision streets.
VDOT has 867 snowplows in the Richmond district for snow and ice removal.
There’s a new service called the “VDOT Snow Plow Tracker” where viewers can track VDOT snowplows online at http://vdotplows.org/.
Viewers also can check road conditions at http://www.511virginia.org/.