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With big accumulation expected, plans laid
SoVaNow.com / February 14, 2014With up to a foot of snow predicted for the area Wednesday and today, state and local governments have taken steps to minimize risks from the winter storm and keep travel as safe as possible.
Flakes started falling shortly before 2 p.m. Wednesday in South Boston, as the storm worked its way up from North Carolina and other locations. Further south, the snowfall was already causing havoc in Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama.
In South Boston, the Town announced early Wednesday afternoon that offices will be closed during normal business hours on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 13-14. “As always, our police, fire and public works employees will be working around the clock to keep our citizens safe” — but with the reminder to use extreme caution in the inclement weather.
Halifax Town Manager Carl Espy issued an advisory reminding the public how snow removal efforts are coordinated between the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), Halifax County and the Town of Halifax.
VDOT is responsible for plowing the public roads (primary, secondary, residential) throughout Halifax County, including within the Town of Halifax corporate limits. VDOT snow removal crews/drivers and contractors working for VDOT each are assigned a specific territory and responsibility. When snowfall occurs, crews are dispatched simultaneously to their assigned territory and snow removal routes are prioritized accordingly with major highways and high volume primary and secondary roads cleared first.
Once the most heavily traveled roads and emergency routes are adequately clear, crews/drivers move to less-traveled secondary roads and residential streets. Snow removal on privately maintained roads is the responsibility of the property owners along the road or the homeowner association.
Driveway entries along curb and gutter streets and pipestem driveways along ditches are privately owned and maintained by the property owners. Snow removal is the property owners’ responsibility.
Residents should not clear their driveways back into the street until the street is cleared completely on a final route; this will only result in the snow being pushed back into the driveways. Please do not approach the drivers and request additional snow removal or removal on private property.
Once the most heavily traveled roads and emergency routes are adequately clear and during the secondary road and residential street operation, VDOT crews/drivers and contractors working for VDOT, Halifax County and the Town of Halifax will begin clearing on-street parking areas in front of businesses, residences and public agencies along Main Street where necessary.
Business owners and patrons and affected residents and agencies should utilize off-street parking (where practical), during this stage of the operation. Crews/drivers are instructed that if they approach an on-street parking area with unattended vehicles that would restrict their width and ability to maneuver the snowplow, not to clear that area.
VDOT is not responsible for clearing sidewalks. Sidewalks treated by county and Halifax town personnel before, during and after a snow event are those fronting county-owned buildings/property, town owned buildings/property and nearby approaches to designated crosswalks downtown. County and town personnel do not treat sidewalks in the residential neighborhoods. Business owners are responsible for the sidewalk in front of their respective establishments.
Residents and businesses are asked to keep sidewalks safe. As soon as feasible, please clear snow off the sidewalks in front of the property so that all pedestrians, especially those with disabilities and the elderly, may walk securely. Sand, not chemical de-icing compounds should be used to prevent sidewalk damage.
County and town personnel and contractors perform snow removal for off-street parking lots related to general county/town properties. Clearing is conducted on a priority basis, with government centers, police, fire and other emergency facilities having highest priority.
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