Weekend snow and bitter cold put activities in the deep freeze

A group of Roanoke friends joined Botetourt County’s Management Assistant Cody Sexton (second from left) for Buchanan’s Epiphany Christmas Tree Bonfire Friday night. Several dozen people braved the cold temperatures for the annual tree burning when the town’s Christmas tree serves as a Yule Log for the bonfire that wraps up the town’s Special Events Committee’s Twilight in Buchanan activities.Photo by Ed McCoy

The weekend snow and bitter temperatures that followed put a halt of dozens  of church services Sunday and prompted Botetourt County and surrounding localities to close schools Monday and Tuesday.

The weather and sub-freezing temperatures that followed also caused the usual accidents.

Two of those accidents involved tractor-trailers on I-81 Saturday— one Exit 167 and another at Mile Marker 157 at the southbound rest area.

The storm that left a blanket or worse of snow across the Commonwealth prompted the State Police to issue on-going updates about the number of vehicles involved in accidents around the state.

Between just after midnight Friday and Sunday at 6 p.m., State Police reported they had responded to 772 traffic crashes and aided 1,234 disabled vehicles statewide.

During the same time period, the State Police received a total of 3,928 calls for service.

State Police reported investigating one reported traffic fatality, that in Greene County. “Fortunately, the majority of crashes have involved only damage to vehicles,” the report said.

The State Police’s Salem Division had 132 crashes reported and 119 disabled vehicles. The division includes Botetourt County and runs from Alleghany and Rockbridge Counties south to Roanoke and Montgomery County and includes Bedford, Franklin and Henry Counties and the cities of Roanoke, Martinsville and Danville.

By far, the most wrecks were reported in the Richmond Division where there were 241 wrecks and 229 disabled vehicles.

The Chesapeake Division that includes Tidewater, the Eastern Shore and parts of Southside, had 162 crashes and a sizeable 520 disabled vehicles.

The Appomattox Division that stretches from Augusta County, Charlottesville, Lynchburg, South Boston and South Hill had 98 crashes and 90 disabled vehicles.

The Culpeper Division that runs across the state from Harrisonburg and Winchester to Culpeper and Fredericksburg had 60 crashes and 68 disabled vehicles.

The Wytheville Division that goes from Wytheville southwest to the Tennessee line had 58 crashes and 85 disabled vehicles.

Northern Virginia was essentially spared. The Fairfax Division, which takes in the areas around Washington, D.C., had 21 wrecks but it did have 123 disabled vehicles.


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