_City News

Posted on: January 6, 2017

"Blizzard Warning": Residents encouraged to stay safe, stay home; many facilities to close

snowflake image

Jan. 6, 2017 - With as much as a foot of snow possible this weekend, city officials encourage residents to stay safe and avoid unnecessary travel Saturday and Sunday. Most city recreation and leisure facilities will be closed as well.

Temperatures are expected to stay below freezing Saturday through Monday. Saturday’s winds will be about 20 mph, with gusts reaching 30-35 mph at times, creating poor visibility with blowing snow.

Because neighborhood roads may still be icy on Monday and because the trash collection drivers are being used for snow removal, Monday's trash and recycling collection will move to Wednesday.

City Manager Mary Bunting said Friday afternoon that community centers, libraries, Hampton History Museum and parks would be closed this weekend. A number of scheduled events, programs and venues will also be closed, cancelled or postponed, including the Charles H. Taylor Arts Center, the American Theatre, and the Hampton Coliseum. Hampton City Schools has also canceled activities for Saturday.

The Public Works Department continued pretreating major roads and other areas Friday. Once the snow starts, Public Works, Police, Fire and other departments will work to make sure roads and residents are safe. The city is partnering with Hampton Roads Ecumenical Lodgings and Provisions Inc., or H.E.L.P., to care for the homeless in one location through the duration of the storm.

More than 200 Pubic Works employees have been cross-trained to work with various pieces of snow removal equipment, including salt spreaders, snowplows and front-end loaders. Police will provide escorts for some snow removal equipment to make sure the process remains safe, but drivers who must be on the road are reminded to leave room for the equipment to work.

Public Works will focus on clearing primary travel routes first - including Mercury Boulevard, Big Bethel Road and Hampton Roads Center Parkway - before moving on to other roadways. Public Works does not clear smaller residential streets because they are usually too narrow for the equipment and plowing could damage the equipment or parked cars (map shows snow removal routes in city).

For tips on how to stay safe and be winter ready, visit the Virginia Department of Emergency Management’s web page.


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