McDonnell: Dangerous storm has exceeded expectations
Gov. Bob McDonnell urged Virginians today to stay off the roads as a dangerous snowstorm continues to make landfall leaving more than two feet of snow in parts of the state.
"The thing we would like to ask everybody to do, obviously, is to please stay off the roads,'' he told reporters on a conference call this afternoon. "There are danerous conditions that will exist for days now in Virginia even after plowing because of the very cold weather we are anticipating at night and the refreezing."
McDonnell declared a state of emergency Wednesday. About 500 members of the National Guard are assisting state officials with the storm.
"The impact of the storm will be felt for quite some time,'' he said. "It's going to take quite some time to abate...This is a time for the people of Virginia to work together and help one another. Be good neighbors. But mostly use their common sense and stay off the roads. Enjoy the Superbowl if they have power tomorrow night. But don't go out tomorrow night unless there is an absolute emergency."
McDonnell said most snow has fallen in northern Virginia -- 33 inches in Loudoun County, 25 inches in Fairfax County and 12-20 inches up and down the I-81 corridor.
The storm "has certainly lived up to -- if not exceeded -- the potential for snowfall accumulation and dangerous conditions around the state,'' he said. "The accumulation has been historic in some parts of the state. It is fast approaching the highest of accumulation in the 103 years these records have been kept."
About 175,000 houses remain without power, but McDonnell said he expects that number to increase. The Virginia State Police have responded more than 3,000 calls. Most interstates are passable, though he said I-64, I-81 and I-95 will need to be plowed a third time.
February 6, 2010; 2:50 PM ET
Categories: Anita Kumar , Robert F. McDonnell
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