Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) has called for a state of emergency ahead of the winter storm expected to hit the Commonwealth beginning March 13. Because of the weather, Loudoun County Public Schools will also be closed and all school activities cancelled on March 14.
Up to 10 inches or more of snow is expected to fall in Loudoun based of recent projections from the National Weather Service.
“Virginians may have enjoyed milder temperatures for the past several weeks, but the forecast is calling for winter weather to return to the Commonwealth this week with what could be a major winter storm for northern portions of the Commonwealth,” McAuliffe said in a statement. “With this forecast in mind, all Virginians should take the necessary precautions now to ensure they are prepared for travel disruptions and possible power outages during a cold weather period.”
The state of emergency authorizes state agencies to assist local governments as they respond for the storm. That includes the Virginia Department of Transportation, which has begun 24-hour operations and will work to clear the roads from the first measurable snow event of 2017.
“VDOT is prepared with crews, equipment and materials to treat roads in advance of the storm and will work throughout the storm to plow roads,” said Virginia Transportation Secretary Aubrey Layne in a statement. “Driving conditions during the storm are expected to be hazardous and motorists are urged to stay off the roads until the storm passes.”
Meanwhile, the Virginia National Guard has been authorized to utilize up to 200 personnel staged across Northern Virginia to support requests for assistance, according to a release from the governor’s office. They will be equipped with humvees and tactical trucks to assist first responders or help evacuate citizens if necessary.
In Loudoun, several towns are advising people to relocate their cars from snow emergency routes. In Leesburg all cars parked along King, Market and Loudoun Streets will be towed at their owners’ expense until the emergency period is over.
In Purcellville, parking is restricted during on the following streets: Main Street – Business Route 7; Berlin Turnpike – Route 287; Maple Avenue; A Street (including W.T. Druhan, Jr. Blvd); 20th Street; 21st Street; 23rd Street; 32nd Street; Nursery Avenue; Hatcher Avenue; and Hirst Road.