A mix of wintry precipitation that began early Thursday continued through the day, closing schools and turning driving into a hazard. Sleet and freezing rain, not snow, were the main threats in Lynchburg and surrounding counties as officials urged residents to stay home if at all possible.
One example of the ill effects of the icy roads: Lynchburg police responded to two vehicle crashes around 6 a.m. Thursday on the Carter Glass Memorial Bridge between Lynchburg and Amherst County, according to Lt. Lisa Singleton.
Singleton said the two crashes, which occurred independently of one another, were caused by ice that accumulated on the bridge roadway. No injuries were reported, but the crashes caused one vehicle to overturn and another to come to a rest on its side. Both vehicles were towed away from the scene, and no charges were filed in connection with the crashes, Singleton said.
Outside Lynchburg, state law enforcement officials on Thursday responded to hundreds of crashes.
Virginia State Police said that as of 4 p.m., state troopers had responded to 45 vehicle crashes and 25 disabled vehicles across the Appomattox Division, a wide swath of land in Central Virginia that stretches from Halifax County to Augusta County. Troopers also responded to 52 vehicle crashes and 37 disabled vehicles in the Salem Division, which encompasses Bedford County and other areas west of Lynchburg.
Despite the threat of ice on power lines, outages were relatively scarce as of Thursday afternoon, based on figures reported by the electric utilities serving the Lynchburg area.
Sunnier skies are in store for Friday, according to the National Weather Service, with temperatures reaching the low 40s.