VIRGINIA, USA — In one of his last acts as Governor of Virginia, Ralph Northam has declared a state of emergency ahead of this weekend's winter storm.
The Northam administration says it consulted with Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin's team ahead of the declaration, which will be in effect until Feb. 13.
This is the third winter storm forecast to hit the Commonwealth this year.
"Given the storm's current forecast, the Commonwealth is leaning forward to assist localities and assist all Virginians who face the impacts of this complex, statewide storm while also coordinating continued COVID operations," the executive order reads. "Pre-positioning response assets and supplies will be necessary to assist our local and state partners whose resources have been severely strained by ongoing events."
The National Weather Service's initial forecast shows snow, sleet, ice and freezing rain could hit the Commonwealth, impacting areas that are still dealing with the effects of last week's winter storms.
"This area is still dealing with the consequences of last week's back-to-back events, including power restoration and significant debris removal," the executive order reads. "This upcoming weather system is likely to include additional downed trees, more electrical outages and significant impacts on travel conditions."
One of the hardest-hit areas in last week's winter storm was Interstate 95, where some drivers were stranded for as long as 24 hours.
I-95 north and southbound has reopened in both directions after all disabled vehicles were removed from the interstate, according to VDOT.