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Weather forecast: More snow coming
A severe winter storm has dumped at least 12 inches of snow on the Fredericksburg region, and weather forecasters say more is coming this afternoon and evening.

UPDATE: The blizzard warning has been cancelled. A winter storm warning remains in effect until 6am Sunday.

Date published: 12/19/2009

By Chelyen Davis

The Free Lance-Star

A severe winter storm has dumped at least 12 inches of snow on the Fredericksburg region, and weather forecasters say more is coming this afternoon and evening.

“The heaviest band of the day just went through about an hour ago, and now there will periods of off and on moderate to heavy snow through the evening hours,” said a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling before noon.

He said the Fredericksburg area is forecast to get 20 to 24 inches of snow before the storm is done.

The area is under a winter storm advisory until 6 a.m. Sunday, and a blizzard warning is in effect until 6 p.m. tonight.

The blizzard warning means severe weather conditions and blowing snow with strong winds, leading to poor visibility and whiteout conditions. The National Weather Service, which issued the warning, advises motorists not to travel and if you must, to have a winter survival kit. Stranded motorists should stay with their vehicles.

The nor’easter producing the snow has blanketed much of Virginia, and road conditions are treacherous in many places.

Police are asking motorists to stay off the roads unless they absolutely have to go out.

“We’re not telling them to stay off the roads but we’re asking them to refrain from being out on the roads, and wait until the storm is passed,” said State Police spokesman Les Tyler.

Tyler said the state police have responded to more than 1,300 calls statewide since the storm hit Virginia Friday afternoon.

As of Saturday afternoon, only one of those was a fatality, on a secondary road in Carroll County.

The Virginia Department of Transportation has been focusing on clearing major roads, Tyler said, and so secondary roads have not received much attention.

A dispatcher at the Fredericksburg Police Department said the snow Saturday morning was falling at a rate of about 2 inches an hour, faster than road crews could clear it.

She said while those road crews were working on primary roads, secondary roads were less of a priority and subdivisions “are nonexistent.”

Tyler said motorists traveling on treacherous roads are in some cases making it more difficult for crews to clear roads.


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