News Briefs

Donations For Ronald McDonald House

donationsFeb. 14, 2018: Employees at the VDOT Culpeper District’s Charlottesville Residency recently collected 69 items, including stuffed animals, dolls and a variety of other toys, for the Ronald McDonald House in the city.

The house provides a “home away from home” for families who are caring for seriously ill children.

Charlottesville’s Ronald McDonald House is close to the University of Virginia Medical Center, where it supports families who are receiving care at U.Va.’s Children’s Hospital.

“We don't have the words to adequately thank this community for its ongoing support,” a Ronald McDonald House representative said.

“It all makes such a difference for us and for the children and families we serve. You are all our heroes.”

Icy Rescue

icy rescueFeb. 12, 2018: “When I got the call it was actually for a vehicle stranded in high water,” Check Area Headquarters Superintendent Ronald Sowers recalled. 
That “high water” turned out to be shards of ice that measured eight inches thick and several feet long, filling a space where Route 706 in Floyd County once stood.

Normally, the level of the Little River at that location is about five feet below the road.

Sometime in the middle of the night in mid January, a driver trying to navigate through the thick fog suddenly found himself stranded in giant pieces of ice.

The river had frozen over completely from bank to bank.

Sowers has seen it do this before during his 30 years at VDOT.

He remembers one time the ice accumulation in this spot was so massive that it knocked down part of a full-size fence system.

He said once the ice starts to thaw again, the river rises up, creating an ice dam as it rounds the bend that eventually bursts and deposits all the ice onto the road.

This time, he said, it looked like that happened at about 2 a.m.

“It was really foggy that night,” Sowers said, describing the extreme weather conditions.

“You couldn’t even see your hand in front of your face. That guy driving must not have known how much trouble he was in until it was too late.”

Snow Fighters

Fighting snow in Hampton Roads DistrictJan. 30, 2018: Experienced snow fighters from all parts of Virginia converged on the VDOT Hampton Roads and Richmond districts earlier this month when a winter storm dumped as much as a foot of snow.

Highway Emergency Response Teams (HERT) were dispatched to cities and towns in Hampton Roads, which rarely sees double-digit snowfall totals.

Each team consists of transportation operators, supervisors and mechanics, along with all of the vehicles and equipment needed for around-the-clock snow removal.

“I really appreciate your dedication and the sacrifices you’re making,” Staunton District Administrator Randy Kiser told HERT Teams as they fueled up and received assignments.

“Show everyone that we know how to get it done and, most importantly, be safe.”

The Eastern Shore was especially hard hit, with gale-force winds that pushed snow into drifts up to 10 feet high. Massive snow blowers from the Staunton and Northern Virginia districts helped get that part of Virginia moving.

Page last modified: Feb. 14, 2018