(The Center Square) – Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency in the commonwealth for a snowstorm expected to hit the state Thursday night into Friday morning.
The governor’s announcement comes after a snowstorm early this week caused a disruption in the state. Some people still do not have electricity because heavy winds, falling trees and snow knocked down power lines, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without power.
“Having two bouts of snow and icy weather back to back makes it more likely communities will need additional help as they continue to recover from the first round of tree-snapping wet snow and ice that we saw Monday,” Northam said in a statement. “While we typically have ample resources for snow storms, these back-to-back events will generate landmark winter weather that requires extra flexibility. I am grateful to the hundreds of first responders and emergency personnel who continue to work around the clock to keep Virginians safe.”
According to the National Weather Service, the incoming snow storm could have significant impacts throughout the commonwealth and exacerbate the problems in areas that were most affected by the earlier storm. It will likely cause more downed trees, more power outages and more problems with travel, such as bad driving conditions. The governor’s state of emergency order will cover expenses from both storms.
Dominion Energy has been working 24/7 to restore power to those who lost electricity, but the utility said it would be a multi-day effort. There are still nearly 50,000 people whose power has not been restored as of the early Thursday afternoon. The snow storm also caused serious impediments to travel. Parts of Interstate 95 for about 30 hours after hundreds of drivers were stranded on the highway.
The earlier snow storm also caused school and business closures. Some parts of the state had more than one foot of snow.