NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — It’s the season for snow and soon Hampton Roads will see it one way or another.
“If we get a light dusting, anything, a couple of inches, I’m good with. More than three inches, it’s a panic attack,” said Jeffrey Norman.
Norman spent his Thursday stocking up on supplies. Of course, he bought the typical milk and bread.
Norman said, “I worry about the power going out, my generator working, and do I have enough supplies on hand to last more than a couple of days.”
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Newport News Public Works crews are getting their equipment ready: 25 snow plows, nine sand and salt spreaders, and six brine units are available.
“We are going to plan for the worst, several inches is what we are expecting for tomorrow night. That’s why we are planning 24-hour operations,” said Newport News Street Maintenance Administrator Jason Calbert.
He said crews are working around the clock. All the equipment is mounted on the trucks and crews are waiting for the snow.
Calbert explained, “We will keep an eye on all of our priority hotspots. Bridges, overpasses, routes in front of hospitals, police stations, fire stations, and things of that nature.”
He said because of the rain they decided to not pre-treat the roads on Thursday afternoon, but Calbert said it will be done before the snow rolls in on Friday.
“We aren't applying brine at this time yet because it's going to start as a rain event and we don't want it to wash away after the rain ends tonight, and then it transitions to snow, which is supposed to end again tonight,” he explained. “We will then start pre-treating with brine in anticipation of tomorrow's event so we'll have all of our bridges and overpasses and main arterial routes treated with brine before tomorrow's event."
Calbert says a reminder to people, crews will not plow subdivisions or neighborhood streets.
If you have to be out on the roads on Thursday night or Friday, city crews ask people to please be patient and leave plenty of space between you and the people working to clear the roads.
In Hampton, officials are prepping stockpiles of salt and brine at the winter weather treatment facility. That facility can make 33 gallons of brine for Hampton, Newport News, Langley Air Force Base, and NASA Langley.