OSIG release findings on the I-95 snow shutdown

The Virginia Office of the State Inspector General (OSIG) recently released a report on the Interstate 95 snow incident that shutdown a portion of the Instate January 3 and 4.

The report reads that the state did not learn from a similar incident that shutdown Interstate 81 near Bristol Virginia on December 8 and 9 in 2018.

Further investigation revealed that the state has no hazard specific plan for snowfall.

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) does have general (All Hazard) emergency plans for natural disasters but no hazard specific snow response plan.

The report goes on to say that the Commonwealth did not effectively communicate to the public.

The lack of  communications was demonstrated by the amount of  traffic continuing to enter the Instate after the incident.

The report states that either the public did not receive the message or ignored it.

During the storm communications did not clearly indicate the seriousness of the situation.

The VDEM, Virginia Department of  Transportation (VDOT) and Virginia State Police(VSP) managements all generally concurred with the findings and plan to implement corrective actions.

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It is Severe Weather Awareness Week VA. 3/7-3/11

Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) announced that it is severe weather awareness week.

This is a week designed to refresh, remind and educate citizens about seasonal threats from severe weather.

It is also a good time to make and practice your own emergency plan.

The VDEM and National Weather Service team up to promote severe weather awareness during the week.

Social media pages from VDEM will have information and ways to stay safe in the advent of severe weather all week.

Today Mon. Mar. 7 the focus is on Watches vs. Warnings.

Tomorrow Tue. Mar. 8 the annual statewide tornado drill will be held at 9:45 a.m..

Wed. Mar. 9 is focused on Severe Thunderstorms, Hail and Wind.

Thur. Mar. 10 the focus will be Flash Flooding preparation.

Fri. Mar.11 the focus will be on Lighting Awareness.

During the annual Tornado Drill Tues. all schools, businesses and families are encouraged to participate in the drill.

There will not be an alert tone Tues. but the drill alert will be broadcast on NOAA Weather Radio along with a monthly test alert on local radio stations.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

PCSO receives grants for officer protection and citizen training

The Page County Sheriff’s Office (PCSO) announced in a social media post that they have received two more grants.

The first grant totaling over $21,000 was awarded to the PCSO by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM).

Those funds are earmarked for the purchase of personal protective equipment for county deputies.

Another grant of over $8,000 from VDEM will be used for citizen training for the Page County Community Emergency Response Training (CERT) program.

More information on the CERT program is forthcoming according the post.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.