Now is the time to prepare for a major winter storm

Emergency crews are already taking action and you should too
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 11:26 PM EST
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - Heavy snow and ice will make its way into the Two Virginias this weekend, and officials are already preparing for the impacts.

It’s important for you to prepare as well and here’s what you should do.

The Office of Emergency Management in Mercer County is already preparing to open warming centers if needed. Keith Gunnoe, the Mercer County Emergency Management Director, says that this is typical with any major winter weather event.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has already begun pretreating major routes such as I-81 and I-77. Once the storm begins, VDOT crews prioritize clearing primary roads and work their way down the list from there.

VDOT officials are urging those who don’t need to travel during the storm to stay at home. If travel is necessary, they ask that you prepare and use 511VA.org for the latest road conditions. If you are in West Virginia, you can check 511WV.org for the latest road conditions.

VDOT also has a number that you can call 24/7 from anywhere in the state to report road hazards, ask transportation questions, or get general information related to Virginia’s roads. That number is: 1-800-FOR-ROAD (1-800-367-7623)

Appalachian Power says that they are also preparing for the storm. Local crews are ready to go and damage assessors, as well as line crews from other states, have been requested. They would be placed ahead of the storm in areas such as Charleston, WV, and Roanoke, VA, and then would move to wherever assistance is needed after the storm.

AEP also wants to remind everyone to stay away from downed power lines and treat every line that you come across as an active one.

If you lose power or want to track power outages, you can do so by visiting Appalachian Power’s website here: https://www.appalachianpower.com/outages/

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