The winter weather is closing down ramps and clogging up highways throughout northern Virginia.
The Virginia Department of Transportation said due to the deteriorating weather conditions several ramps in the Mixing Bowl area of Springfield, Va., were shut down:
- 644 West (Old Keen Mill Road) to 95 South ramp
- I-95 North to I-495 North ramp
- I-495 West to I-95 South ramp
Also, several tractor-trailers traveling on major highways throughout Northern Virginia have gotten stuck causing several traffic closures at:
- 495 South at Braddock Road
- 95 North at Quantico
- 95 North at Lorton
VDOT strongly advised everyone to only drive if it is an emergency.
By nightfall, when roads began to ice over, about 3,000 accidents had been reported in Virginia, mostly the northern part of the state, officials said. Even on interstates, roadways were covered.
“It is difficult for crews to keep up in the height of the storm. Drivers need to use extreme caution and should expect the unexpected,” said VDOT spokesperson Joe Morris.
Morris also advises not to get off the road way unless you know where you are going and can be safe about it.
Digital message boards on the highways read: “Danger: icy roads."
Virginia State Police said there were several disabled vehicles along roads in northern Virginia. Eighteen shelters were established for people stranded by the storm.
Police also are investigating a few hit and run crashes in the area.
They are asking that people who do not have emergencies and need information on traffic or weather information to call 511 or go to 511virginia.org. They do not want people calling 911 or #77 unless it is an emergency.
State police warned that things were only going to get worse at night.
“With temperatures decreasing through the afternoon and evening the snow and ice will refreeze making driving conditions very dangerous. You may run into ice that you can’t see,” said VSP Spokeswoman Corrine Geller.