Tropical Storm Isaias: Transportation crews prepare for heavy rain and high winds

FREDERICKSBURG—Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) crews in the Fredericksburg District have prepared staff, equipment and materials to respond to flooding, downed trees and other hazardous travel conditions from Tropical Storm Isaias, according to public affairs manager Kelly Hannon.

Intense, heavy rainfall is expected along the I-95 corridor in the Fredericksburg area, Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula from Monday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon. During the storm, motorists are likely to encounter areas of standing water and roads partially or fully blocked by flooding.

High winds may also lead to downed trees, utility lines and other debris, especially in areas where soil is already saturated from recent storms.

Motorists are advised to plan to adjust their route and travel plans as necessary. Check 511Virginia before starting a trip for a real-time list of roads partially or fully closed due to flooding or other hazards.

VDOT Fredericksburg District crews will mobilize in emergency response starting Monday evening and will remain at work 24 hours a day, in rotating 12-hour shifts, until all state-maintained roads are safe for travel. Tree contractors are on standby to assist VDOT with tree and debris removal.


What Travelers Should Know

511Virginia will report state-maintained roads partially or completely blocked due to flooding, debris, downed utility lines or other safety hazards.

Additional storm information: 

• Never drive across a flooded roadway. The underlying road or bridge may be damaged or completely washed away beneath flood waters, and a few inches of water can sweep vehicles downstream.

• Do not try to move or drive around a barricade.

• Avoid flood-prone areas, especially along creeks and other low-lying areas.

• Do not try to move downed power lines. Contact local authorities.

• Be alert for tree limbs and other debris in the roadway. Even small branches and other debris can damage a car or cause the driver to lose control.

• Keep headlights on while it’s raining: it’s the law.

• Report downed trees, flooding, or other roadway hazards to VDOT’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-367-7623 or

High Winds Protocol for Major Bridges

VDOT will monitor sustained winds on major river crossings in the Northern Neck and Middle Peninsula, including:

• Robert O. Norris Jr. Memorial Bridge, which carries Route 3 over the Rappahannock River between Lancaster and Middlesex counties.

• Downing Bridge, which carries Route 360 over the Rappahannock River between Richmond County and the Town of Tappahannock.

• Route 223 bridge over Milford Haven, which connects mainland Mathews County with Gwynn’s Island.

• Eltham Bridge, which carries Route 30/Route 33 traffic over the Pamunkey River and connects the Town of West Point and New Kent County.

• Lord Delaware Bridge, which carries Route 33 over the Mattaponi River and connects the Town of West Point and King and Queen County.

If sustained winds reach 30 mph over a period of 30 minutes, or there are frequent wind gusts of 45 mph or greater, VDOT will post a high wind advisory notice on these bridges. High-profile vehicles such as tractor-trailers, box trucks and large vans and SUVs are advised to not cross these bridges when a high wind advisory is posted. Trucks carrying small or empty loads may be especially at risk.

When sustained winds reach 45 mph or above over a period of 15 minutes, VDOT crews will post a bridge closure notice. However, bridges will not be physically barricaded.

Notices will be posted on message boards staged at the bridges, and communicated through VDOT news releases, VDOT social media platforms, and on 511Virginia.

Ferry Service

 Service on the Merry Point Ferry in Lancaster County and Sunnybank Ferry in Northumberland is suspended until further notice. Ferry travelers can check 511Virginia for real-time service updates.


Download the free mobile 511 app for Apple and Android devices to stay connected, or visit Motorists also can reach 511Virginia by calling 511 from any phone in Virginia.