The effects of Winter Storm Jonas in Prince George County, along Route 460 and I-295. (Photo by Tom Saunders/VDOT)
A snow plow truck getting refilled with “brine” – liquid sodium chloride, an anti-icing and pretreatment chemical – at the Prince George Area Headquarters in Prince George County Va. Winter Storm Jonas. (Photo by Tom Saunders/VDOT)
Contractors push snow on Route 460 in Prince George County VA during Winter Storm Jonas.
A view of I-95 south during Winter Storm Jonas from East Roslyn in Colonial Heights, VA.
VDOT Commissioner Charlie Kilpatrick in the Situation Room at the organization’s Central Office. During the height of Winter Storm Jonas, he said VDOT crews focused on plowing interstate and primary roads. Once the snow stopped and the major roads were rated to be in better condition, then crews focused more on secondary and subdivision streets.
A snow plow "train" formed up on I-495 in Northern Virginia.
VDOT’s public safety and transportation operations center (PSTOC), located in Fairfax, VA, helped coordinate the agency’s state-wide snow removal efforts.
A view from inside a snow plow operator's cab. At the peak of Winter Storm Jonas, snowfall reached two inches per hour in many locales.
Traffic slowed to a crawl along I-64 near Augusta, VA.
VDOT said it had over 650,000 tons of salt, sand and abrasives ,plus nearly two million gallons of liquid salt, on hand before Jonas hit.
As of Jan. 24, the top snowfall total for the Commonwealth of Virginia notched 31 inches near Philomont in Loudoun County, west of Washington D.C., according to The Weather Channel.
Waiting to reload plow trucks with sand and salt in Fisherville, VA.
In many areas, heavier equipment such as front-end loaders and motor graders (seen here) were pressed into service to move snow when plow trucks didn’t have enough room to push.
In Craig County, VA, a road grader and plow truck work in tandem.
The view from a road grader operator's narrow perch.
VDOT noted that plowing subdivision streets is far more enormous job than many think. More than 48,000 miles of secondary and subdivision roads exist across the Virginia, much of that in tight spots around cars and cul-de-sacs.
Plow trucks often operate in "wings" to clear major roads more effectively.
Getting the roads clear doesn't mean hazardous driving conditions no longer exist, largely as melted snow refreezes as night creating "black ice" conditions, especially on highway bridges and on/off ramps.