From Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell's office....
Governor Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency today, authorizing state agencies to assist local governments responding to the winter storm that is expected to affect the Commonwealth tonight and tomorrow.
There is still uncertainty with the storm’s track, but the current outlook calls for the possibility of up to 12 inches of snow and high winds for eastern Virginia, including the Eastern Shore. Snow totals of 2 – 7 inches are predicted for the I-95 corridor and 2 - 5 inches for the I-81 corridor, with higher elevations predicted to receive up to 12 inches. There is still low confidence in this forecast so Virginians should pay close attention to their latest local forecast.
Governor McDonnell declared a state of emergency out of an abundance of caution to ensure the necessary resources are available to handle potential problems, especially with tomorrow’s expected holiday traffic.
Governor McDonnell noted, “This storm could potentially bring severe weather to parts of Virginia. Please stay alert to the forecast for your area and make sure your family and neighbors are ready for hazardous weather conditions. If the storm affects your area, please stay off the roads and contact local authorities if help is needed.”
Virginia law requires the Governor to declare a state of emergency so the Virginia National Guard can identify and position resources for quick response anywhere they are needed in Virginia. State agencies are getting ready for the storm by taking several actions, including:
· The Virginia Department of Emergency Management has held weather conference calls with the National Weather Service, state agencies and local governments.
· The Virginia Department of State Police and the Department of Transportation are preparing to keep roadways clear and assist motorists.
· The Virginia National Guard has been authorized to bring personnel on state active duty. The Virginia Guard Joint Operations Center has started the notification process instructing personnel to report for duty.
Virginians can prepare for the storm by having an emergency kit in their home and vehicle that includes water, food, a battery-powered radio, blankets, flashlight and extra batteries. Also, citizens should monitor news outlets for updates on this developing storm, and check road conditions before they leave home by calling 511 or visiting www.511virginia.org.
More information about winter weather preparedness is available at www.vaemergency.com.