Roanoke city leaders talk about winter storm

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 12:05 AM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - A slow and steady snowfall Sunday morning quickly turned into several inches of deep dry snow fast in Roanoke, making major roads in the valley difficult to drive on and visibility low.

”It’s an all hands effort. The fleet obviously helps us out. We do have about 95 snow fighters that are on the streets. The city is divided into about 18 zones. Most zones have three snow fighters per zone, per shift, we work 2 12-hour shifts, that’s 24/7 operation, and we will do that for as long as possible until the streets are back to where they’re down to the blacktop and completely passable,” said Dwayne D’Ardenne, manager of the transportation division.

First responder vehicles also experienced the hardships of travel. Vehicle accidents were up all across southwest Virginia, but Roanoke City Fire and EMS leaders were most concerned with response times.

”Its moderate call volume, it’s not very heavy, but the difficulty is what normally takes us 50-55 minutes to complete now is almost 2 hours running chains based on travel distance, things of that nature,” said Roanoke Fire Chief David Hoback.

”Any response that you have to have Fire and EMS or police come for, whether its a stuck vehicle or an accident, causes a delay and possibly another emergent call,” said Trevor Shannon, battalion chief of Emergency Management

Those response times are expected to ramp back up to normal just as soon as more snow can be cleared, and snow removal crews are hard at work, all over the city.

The focus for them is on major streets and Valley Metro bus routes.

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