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MORE SNOW TO COME?
Snow has relatively little impact on roads, but there still were plenty of cancellations and crashes (on I-95 at least). But it's not over, as VDOT says it is preparing for more mess with Friday's predicted snow

 Iris Bacon and her dog Cydris tumble down a snowy slope at Park Ridge Elementary School. Stafford schools are closed today.
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Date published: 1/25/2013

BY SCOTT SHENK

The winter's first snowfall in the Fredericksburg area dumped only a couple of inches on Thursday, but slick roads still led to weather-related crashes.

And you can expect more of the same today.

Wet spots on the roads could freeze overnight and another round of snow is expected this afternoon.

The fast-moving storm left enough snow to close all area schools Thursday and gave kids a chance to break out their sleds.

Stafford, Spotsylvania, Caroline, Louisa, Culpeper, King George, Colonial Beach and Westmoreland schools announced last night that they'll be closed again Friday. Orange County and Fredericksburg schools will have a two-hour delayed start.

Federal agencies in the Washington area are open, and employees have the option for unscheduled leave or unscheduled telework.

This afternoon's predicted storm could drop another 1 to 2 inches of snow on top of the Thursday's accumulation.

Snow is expected to start falling in the afternoon, according to the National Weather Service.

If that happens, the Friday afternoon commute could be a messy one. It might not be too bad, though, if federal workers get to use liberal leave as they did Thursday.

There is no liberal leave for Virginia Department of Transportation crews.

After working through the night and into Friday morning, crews are still focused on treating the roads, VDOT's Kelly Hannon said.

She said crews are working around the clock, treating secondary and neighborhood roads and prepping for more snow.

"We are concerned about any moisture remaining on the ground freezing again overnight, so we will be treating in preparation for Friday morning's rush hour," Hannon said.

Thursday's snow made for some slippery spots on roads, but VDOT reported that Fredericksburg-area primary roads were mostly clear during the morning commute.

Still, the Virginia State Police said troopers handled "numerous" weather-related crashes on Interstate 95 on Thursday morning.

One happened at about 8:30 a.m. and involved a Fredericksburg resident.

State police say the local man caused the last crash in a string of three incidents at the same spot on I-95 in the Triangle area.

Robert Craig, a 65-year-old Fredericksburg-area resident, was charged with reckless driving after police say his Ford Ranger pickup ran off southbound I-95 and hit a VDOT safety patrol vehicle that had responded to an earlier crash.

A state police trooper's cruiser had been hit minutes before at the same spot by another car that ran off the road.

The trooper and the VDOT worker had responded to a three-car crash that happened at the spot a short time earlier.

No life-threatening injuries were reported after the crashes, but the trooper, a driver and the VDOT worker were taken to Potomac Hospital for treatment.

Scott Shenk: 540/374-5436
Email: sshenk@freelancestar.com