Virginia Beach Prepares for Winter Storm

Wednesday, January 03, 2018


January 3, 2018 - 11:15 a.m.

The City of Virginia Beach continues to monitor forecasts for the impending winter storm, due to arrive later today. Crews across multiple city agencies have increased staffing levels and are on standby, ready to respond.

A blizzard warning has been issued for Virginia Beach from 7 p.m. today to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 4. Because travel will be very dangerous during the morning commute on Thursday, please stay off the roads. We anticipate poor visibility, wind gusts up to 50 m.p.h. with significant drifting, falling tree branches, icy conditions and snow accumulations of 5 to 12 inches. If you absolutely must travel, have a winter survival kit with you. If you get stranded, stay with your vehicle. The latest road conditions can be obtained by calling 5-1-1.

Closings & Cancellations
Due to the storm's timing, we expect some early closures for city facilities today and possibly some cancellations or delays in service delivery, such as waste collection Thursday morning. We will announce tomorrow's schedule for employees and city facilities as soon as a decision has been made.

  • Since Virginia Beach City Public Schools will release students early today and has canceled all after school activities and evening school events, there will be no school-based after school programs this afternoon at school sites or recreation centers.
  • There will also be no Parks & Recreation school-based before- or after-school programs at schools or recreation centers on Thursday, Jan. 4. All recreation youth basketball and adult basketball practices scheduled for tonight are canceled, as well.
  • Virginia Aquarium boat trips are canceled through Saturday, Jan. 6.
  • Virginia Beach Circuit Court and the Virginia Beach Circuit Court Clerk's Office will be closed tomorrow.
  • Virginia Beach Commonwealth's Attorney's Office will be closed tomorrow.
  • The general meeting of the Virginia Beach Historic Preservation Commission scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 3 has been postponed. The meeting has been rescheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 5 p.m. and will be held in the Towne Bank building, 2101 Parks Ave., Suite 500.  For additional information, please call 757-385-8573 or visit
  • The TCC/City Joint-Use Library will close at 3 p.m. today with the TCC campus and will remain closed tomorrow.

More information will be shared as it becomes available. Winter storm emergency preparedness information is available at

For up-to-date storm information, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or call VB311 Citizen Services by dialing 311 within the city limits, or visit for online assistance.  Look for the hashtag #GraysonVB.

City Crews Are Ready
The City is equipped with 35 trucks, a combination of chemical spreaders and snow plows and an array of additional equipment to move snow and ice. Abrasives including sand and salt have been stockpiled and will be used during freezing conditions, and are first applied on bridges and culverts. Some 28 trucks loaded with abrasives and equipped with snow plows will run 12-hour shifts to clear priority road routes starting at 6 p.m. today. Plowing will begin when accumulations reach 2 inches (starting sooner can damage streets). At 3 a.m. today, crews began pre-treating the city's 54 bridges/ overpasses.

The first priority will be to make passable approximately 900 lane-miles of primary roads and an additional 300 lane-miles of priority streets that access hospitals, fire stations and police stations within 12 hours after snow stops falling. Neighborhood streets are not cleared because parked vehicles and other safety considerations make snow removal from these streets impractical. The process goes much quicker when citizens refrain from driving and streets are free of traffic.

The intensity of the storm and other factors, such as temperatures, time of day, wind conditions and others, will also dictate the length of time it will take to clear streets. 

Reserve 911 for true emergencies. For other inquiries 24/7, call 311.

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