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The Public Works Department will begin pretreating main thoroughfares, bridges, and overpasses on Thursday morning because of a threat of snow that is currently forecast to begin later in the day.
The National Weather Service in Blacksburg reports that Danville is on the northern edge of a storm system that likely will bring a mix of snow and rain. Any snow accumulation will depend on the track and intensity of the system.
“There is still a tremendous amount of uncertainty in the amount of snow accumulation and how far north this snow will go,” meteorologist Phil Hysell said Wednesday afternoon. “We’re looking at (for Danville) an official amount of half an inch, but a reasonable worst-case scenario would be two to three inches.”
Hysell said citizens should monitor the latest forecasts. As of this afternoon, the forecast calls for a light mix of snow and rain to begin in the early to mid-afternoon hours on Thursday.
“Because temperatures will be in the mid-30s by this time, any snow that does fall will accumulate mainly on grassy surfaces, but if this snow falls heavier than we anticipate, then that could overwhelm the warm temperatures and cause snow accumulation totals to grow,” Hysell said.
The snowfall rate will be its heaviest between 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. “This will be the time when any snow accumulation most likely will occur,” Hysell said.
The mix of snow and rain will end around 10 p.m.
Public Works Director Rick Drazenovich said the decision to pretreat the major thoroughfares, bridges, and overpasses with brine is precautionary. Crews will begin work at 5 a.m. Thursday.
Brine is a mixture of water and salt. 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.
Residential streets are not pretreated.
Motorists are encouraged to slow down and proceed with caution, especially when traveling on bridges and overpasses and untreated streets.