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Cities ready for Friday night's snowfall

City crews will be working around the clock to keep up with the snow. Every city in Hampton Roads has at least a dozen trucks equipped with plows.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Public works crews are out pre-treating the roads ahead of the weekend winter weather expected.

“I'm from Florida, so I’m not used to snow,” explained Norfolk resident Courtney Benedict.

City officials in Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake, Norfolk, and Virginia Beach said their public works crews are already on the clock.

People living in the 757 hope the roads stay safe and dry.

“I was here in 2017 when everything shut down. I know it's a little hard on the infrastructure and it getting clear,” said Benedict.

Asiya Brown is from New York, but she said driving on the roads in Virginia snow isn’t the same. She said, “Hopefully, it doesn’t get too bad so I can get home from work.”

13News Now checked in with Hampton Roads Public Works crews.

Newport News and Hampton workers are using brine to pre-treat the roads, bridges, and overpasses.

Information from Newport News:

  • Road crews began working 12-hour shifts at 7 a.m. on Thursday and will continue this around the clock for as long as needed.
  • Crews are pre-treating the roads all day Friday.
  • Public Works Street Maintenance Division has 25 snow plows, 9 salt/sand spreaders, and 6 brine units mounted, and has over 2,000 tons of salt and 1,000 tons of sand on hand.

Chesapeake crews say they already used about 350 tons of salt for their roads.

Information from Chesapeake city leaders:

  • Approximately 150 tons of salt has been utilized to treat bridges and a small number of roadway sections during the overnight shift on Thursday night.
  • 39 snowplows are available for response operations.
  • Chesapeake will employ contractual support as needed to supplement City treating and clearing efforts, which is expected during the Friday day and night shifts heading into the worst of the forecast weather.
  • Public Works will continue to patrol and monitor bridges, overpasses, and areas prone to early freezing to apply additional pre-treatment (brine and/or sand) as needed to prevent or slow freezing and icing as temperatures drop and precipitation increases.

“Routes are mapped out and we started going on 12-hour shifts this morning at 6:30,” said Drew Lankford with Virginia Beach Public Works.

Lankford said crews are using a salt/sand mixture to prepare the primary roads for snow. He said his biggest concern right now is ice.

“I mean, salt, sand blades, anything, it can only do so much. If there's ice underneath the snow. It's just, snow it’s not bad. You know, they plow it and we're good.” Lankford said.

Many Hampton Roads Public Works leaders say they do not clear the snow with the plow unless there are at least two inches of snow on the ground.

Lankford said, “We don’t drop the blade until there's at least two, close to three inches. Otherwise, you just tear the equipment up or the road. We also don't clear the neighborhoods. We get calls and emails about that, it's just not fiscally possible and humanly possible.“

Public works leaders across Hampton Roads are asking drivers to be mindful of all the crews on the roads during the storm. They ask you to leave plenty of room for workers to do their jobs.

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