Wet roads turn slick in Williamsburg

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by Nick Ochnser, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on January 21, 2014 at 11:23 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 22 at 12:20 AM

WILLIAMSBURG -- Roads turned into skating rinks in Williamsburg Tuesday night as temperatures began to plummet.

Puddles of melted snow that had collected in parking lots and on roadways began freezing and snow began to stick, but it was a scenario city maintenance crews were prepared for.

"We're ready to go," said City Streets Supervisor Craig Baller. "We've got six trucks on standby and they'll be manned until we get everything cleaned up."

Baller said crews will be on rotating shifts around the clock through the end of the winter storm.

Earlier in the day, workers laid down a salt/sand mixture on roads and overpasses in hopes of keeping the ice from sticking as long as possible.

"With the plummeting temperatures all the way through Saturday, anything we do get tonight into tomorrow morning is gonna stick around for a while," Baller said.

As city crews worked to keep streets cleared, across town, workers at Ace Peninsula Hardware were working to keep their shelves stocked with snow essentials like shovels and ice melt.

"We've seen it since yesterday. Late yesterday and today, it's been very busy," said Terry Deaver, who owns the hardware store. "We sell a lot of snow shovels, ice melt, even batteries and things of that nature.

Anna Krouse ventured out of the house with the flu to make sure she was prepared for Mother Nature's blast of cold and snow.

"I'm from up North so this is not that much, but people in Williamsburg get a little frantic," Krouse said.

Deaver was ordering additional pallets of shovels and ice melt in anticipation of high-demand ahead of the storm, which he said could be the biggest storm the area has seen in three years.

While some shoppers were getting the essentials, Ginny Brown and her daughter were scoping out the store's selection of sleds.

Deaver said sleds and birdseed are other popular snow items, as people hope to hit the hills and feed the birds during the cold weather.

Down the parking lot, Michael Cooke was stopping by Food Lion to grab some snow-day essentials.

"Whenever they say we're gonna have any kind of snow it always gets really, really busy, like really quick, so that's why I'm trying to come early in the day, so I don't have to worry about it when people get off work and everything," Cooke said.

Cooke said he planned to stock up on canned goods, drinks and lunch meat.

"I don't know how bad it's actually gonna be so better safe than sorry," he said.

But Khalid Labzhea, also heading into Food Lion, wasn't as worried.

"I'm not the kind of person that panics when it comes to snow," Labzhea said. "I just hope people drive safe and stay home."

Labzhea said he planned to spend Wednesday watching movies and staying off the roads.

That's a plan Craig Baller, the Williamsburg street supervisor, encouraged everyone to follow.

"If you do have to get on the roads, please take it slow," Baller said. "Four wheel drive doesn't help very much in the slick conditions, believe it or not."

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