UPDATE AT 11 A.M. FRIDAY: As of 11 a.m., here is the situation report regarding the winter storm.
• Public works snow crews began pre-salting bridges at 3 a.m. Light flurries began falling at 5 a.m. Heavy snow began falling at 7 a.m. Crews will remain on alternating 12-hour shifts until all residential streets are plowed. Currently several inches of snow are on the ground.
• Snowplow crews are deployed on main streets. They will stay on these streets until snowfall ends. When snow ends late Saturday as expected, we will make a final pass over main roads, then move to industrial areas. After clearing industrial areas, we will move to streets that connect residential areas to the primary streets.
• If the snow event ends late Saturday, then it will be the early Sunday morning before we can begin clearing residential streets. If we receive more than eight inches of snow, it will take longer to reach all residential streets, perhaps as late as Monday morning.
• Danville Transit will terminate fixed route service at 12:15 p.m. due to the winter storm. Reserve-A-Ride and Handivan services will continue to operate as long as possible.
• Motorists are advised to limit travel and stay off the streets entirely if possible. Check for newspaper, radio and television bulletins for information on road conditions.
• Police report two accidents, both of which involve Public Works snow removal trucks. One truck was struck by a vehicle that slid into the intersection. The other truck struck a vehicle while navigating a turn.
• Danville Utilities report no power outages at this time. Additional staff are on duty to handle any large volume of power outage calls. For customers who have trouble getting through, keep trying. Even with additional staff on duty, the system can be overwhelmed at times.
• When widespread outages occur, power and light line crews first are assigned to make repairs based on restoring power to the greatest number of customers in the shortest time. As lines are repaired and crews become available, they are assigned to areas with fewer outages.
• It is not always possible to determine how long a power outage will occur because of extent of damage; therefore, a customer using medical devices must make other arrangements in the event of a power outage and temporarily go to a location or medical facility that does have power.
• Residents and visitors should be aware that downed power lines are dangerous. Please call 9-1-1 immediately.
• The City of Danville has arranged for various agencies to provide shelters and warming centers to be available due to the winter storm. If you need shelter, call the non-emergency number of the city's Emergency Communications Center. The number is 434-799-5111.
• The James F. Ingram Justice Center (Danville courthouse) is closed today due to the winter storm. Municipal offices and the library are open.
STORY AT 8:30 A.M. FRIDAY
Danville Public Works crews began plowing the main thoroughfares at 7 a.m. They will stay on these streets until snowfall ends.
When the snowfall ends late Saturday as expected, crews will make a final pass over main roads, and then move to industrial areas. After clearing industrial areas, crews will move to streets that connect residential areas to the primary streets.
If the snow event ends late Saturday, then it will be the early Sunday morning before crews can begin clearing residential streets. If the city receives more than eight inches of snow, it will take longer to reach all residential streets, perhaps as late as Monday morning.
STORY POSTED AT 6 P.M. THURSDAY
Danville Public Works crews are prepared for a round-the-clock snow removal operation. Residents and visitors are reminded that snow removal is accomplished on a priority basis.
Utility crews also are ready for round-the-clock operation. Power and light customers whose residence or business is without power should call Danville Utilities at (434) 773-8300 to report the outage. Additional staff will be on duty to handle a larger volume of calls. For customers who have trouble getting through, keep trying. Even with additional staff on duty, the system can be overwhelmed at times.
At 4 p.m., the National Weather Service updated its forecast. The new forecast calls for more snow and less ice. The snowfall is expected to begin later than earlier forecast, arriving in Danville around 7 a.m., and then continuing through Saturday evening.
Snowfall rates will be heavy at times. The snow will mix at times with sleet. A total accumulation of snow of eight to 16 inches is expected.
Public Works crews will begin plowing road surfaces when one inch of snow or ice has accumulated. Plowing continues only on the highest traffic volume roads until the end of the snow event.
The top priority is main thoroughfares and collector streets leading to various emergency facilities. Second priorities are routes that connect to primary routes and bus routes.
After the end of the snowfall and the primary streets are clear, crews begin plowing industrial areas, and then to roadways that connect residential areas to the primary streets, and finally to residential areas. Generally, it takes 24 to 36 hours after the snow event has ended to clear all residential streets. City crews do not clear private streets and alleys.
Residents and visitors are asked, where possible, not to park on the streets, eliminating the chance of snow plow operators damaging vehicles and allowing for a quicker plowing operation.
Motorists are advised to limit travel and stay off the streets entirely if possible. Check for newspaper, radio and television bulletins for information on road conditions.
Power and light crews also are prepared for round-the-clock operation. They will be assisted by two contract crews.
When widespread outages occur, line crews first are assigned to make repairs based on restoring power to the greatest number of customers in the shortest time. As lines are repaired and crews become available, they are assigned to areas with fewer outages.
Customers should note that during the power restoration effort there are times when crews must temporarily shut off power to an area to make repairs. Once major lines serving a neighborhood are repaired, power may be on at some houses and off at others because of additional damage to lines and equipment serving those homes. Some houses have electric service when others don’t because houses may be on different lines or circuits.
It is not always possible to determine how long a power outage will occur because of extent of damage; therefore, a customer using medical devices must make other arrangements in the event of a power outage and temporarily go to a location or medical facility that does have power.
Residents and visitors should be aware that downed power lines are dangerous. Please call 9-1-1 immediately.
For more information regarding snow removal from streets and what to do if you lose power, go the city’s main website – www.danvilleva.gov – and click on the weather updates section at the bottom of the homepage.
The City of Danville has arranged for various agencies to provide shelters and warming centers to be available due to the winter storm. If you need shelter, call the non-emergency number of the city's Emergency Communications Center. The number is 434-799-5111.
The center will notify one of the participating agencies to meet the need. Participating agencies include the Salvation Army, Red Cross, Danville Parks and Recreation and Social Services.
The James F. Ingram Justice Center (Danville courthouse) will be closed on Friday due to the winter storm. Municipal offices and the library will be open.
UPDATE POSTED NOON THURSDAY
The National Weather Service this morning issued a winter storm warning for Danville, with snowfall expected to begin around 4 a.m. Friday and continue through Saturday evening. The snow will mix at times with sleet and freezing rain. A total accumulation of snow and ice of six to 12 inches is expected.
The warning, which is in effect from midnight tonight to 6 a.m. Sunday, means severe weather conditions are expected. Travel will be dangerous. Citizens are urged to travel only in an emergency.
For Danville, the snow will arrive around dawn on Friday. The snow initially will be dry, but will be heavy, producing rates of one to two inches per hour. The snow will become more 'wet' in nature by the afternoon and evening. Later in the evening, the precipitation will mix with sleet and freezing rain.
The winter storm watch no longer is in effect. A watch means the potential exists for hazardous conditions.
STORY POSTED AT 5 P.M. WEDNESDAY
A burst of snow arrived in Danville around 4 p.m. Wednesday. The National Weather Service expected the event to end by 7 p.m. City crews are prepared to respond as needed.
Public Works crews will be on duty tonight to monitor road conditions. They will apply salt and sand to bridges and roads as needed. Snow plows also are mounted and ready if the city receives sufficient accumulation. Utilities crews are on standby.
For the storm expected this weekend, the National Weather Service and Virginia Department of Emergency Management are conducting regular briefings. At a briefing held this afternoon, it was reported that the latest weekend forecast for the Danville area is for six to 12 inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain, with the the most likely accumulation being six to eight inches.
As a result of the forecast, the Parks and Recreation Department announces the following:
• Due to the threat of inclement weather, the Danville Harvest Jubilee Cabin Fever concert scheduled for Friday, Jan. 22, is being postponed until Friday, Feb. 12.
• The Winter Farmers’ Market will not be held this week (Saturday, Jan. 23).
STORY POSTED AT NOON WEDNESDAY, JAN. 20
The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory today for Danville, with light snow expected this afternoon and during the evening commute. An accumulation of up to an inch of snow is forecast.
The advisory, which is in effect until midnight, means that periods of snow will cause travel difficulties.
The National Weather Service also has issued a winter weather watch for Danville that is in effect from midnight Thursday through 6 a.m. Sunday. The watch means there is a potential for significant accumulation of snow, sleet and ice that may affect travel. Danville residents and visitors are urged to monitor the latest forecasts.
ORIGINAL STORY POSTED TUESDAY, JAN. 19
The National Weather Service has issued a hazardous weather outlook due to the increasing potential for a winter storm Thursday night into Saturday. In response, City of Danville crews began pretreating main thoroughfares on Tuesday.
The decision to begin pretreating streets early was made because low temperatures will limit the window of opportunity for applying brine between now and Friday.
“We may only have a short window on Thursday to apply brine due to low temperatures,” said Rick Drazenovich, director of Public Works. “It takes us about 10 hours to pretreat our main thoroughfares. So, we decided to wait until temperatures reached 25 degrees today, and then apply as much as we can.
“On Thursday, we expect to have another short window of opportunity, so we will apply brine to the rest of the main thoroughfares at that time.”
Brine is a mixture of water and salt. When applied to the road surface, the water in the brine evaporates, leaving the salt behind on the road. The salt breaks the bond between the snow and the roadway, and it therefore helps prevent the snow from freezing onto roads and bridges.
At low temperatures, however, brine can freeze to the road surface rather than evaporate.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the National Weather Service’s forecast called for snow likely Thursday night, with a mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain throughout the day on Friday and continuing Friday night. On Saturday, there is a chance of more snow.
Drazenovich said by pretreating some of our main thoroughfares today, it also allowed the city to test a new brine maker. This new equipment mixes brine faster and controls more precisely the salt concentration used.
Public Works crews also were busy on Tuesday checking equipment in preparation for a round-the-clock snow removal operation.
City power and light crews also spent Tuesday making snowstorm preparations for round-the-clock response to outages. The city is arranging for assistance by contract crews as needed.