Update - 3:55 p.m. -- Virginia State Police say some news outlets are reporting that they have asked all motorists to be off the roads by 3 p.m. While the police are discouraging unnecessary travel, the mandate to be off the roads is incorrect.
Original post - Monday morning
The Virginia State Police and the Virginia Department of Transportation said Monday morning they are prepared for Hurricane Sandy, but are asking Virginians to stay off the road.
Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller said in an email Monday morning "troopers have been deployed throughout the state to respond to various conditions spawning from Hurricane Sandy across the Commonwealth."
"From 10 p.m. Sunday through 6 a.m. Monday, troopers responded to 411 traffic crashes statewide," Geller said. "At this time, there have been no reported traffic deaths in the state related to the storm."
Geller said "the Virginia State Police Search & Recovery dive teams have been pre-positioned in Northern Virginia, Richmond and the Eastern Shore."
"They have been staged in these locations to provide rapid response if the need arises for swift water rescues and other such related incidents in these various regions," Geller said.
Joan Morris with the Virginia Department of Transportation said in an email Monday morning 400 VDOT crew members have begun 12-hour shifts monitoring roadways in northern Virginia.
"As conditions in northern Virginia will deteriorate throughout the day, drivers are asked to make every effort to be off the road," Morris said.
"Crews have prepared for the last several days, testing equipment and putting personnel on standby to handle storm damage," Morris said. "High water on roads in flood-prone areas, traffic signal outages, and road closures due to debris, downed trees and power lines are expected over the next several days."
VDOT reminds drivers:
- Make every effort to be off the road during heavy rains and tropical-storm force winds.
- Treat intersections where traffic signals are out as four-way stops.
- Do not attempt to drive through high water.
- Slow down on wet roads to avoid hydroplaning.
- Ensure vehicles have adequate fuel to complete trips during power outages.
- Get the latest road conditions at www.511virginia.org or by downloading the 511 mobile app.