Governor Warner declares a state of emergency across the Commonwealth.
Ahead on NEWS 7 at six... how folks across the viewing area are weathering the iciest storm so far this season.
Plus, the latest on road conditions and power outages.
Tonight in sports, highlights from both the Lady Hokies and the Lady Cavs in action on this Sunday, plus
Michael Waltrip wins the Daytona 500 for the second time in three years, with a little help from Mother Nature.
The sleet and freezing drizzle is tapering off in some portions of the viewing area. Sleet amounts varied anywhere from a quarter of an inch to 4 inches in some locations.
I'll let you know what the remainder of the evening holds coming up in the forecast.
[IN Q=The equipment is going]
((LAURA BULLOCK/V-DOT SPOKESPERSON: THE EQUIPMENT IS GOING TO BE RUNNING CONTINUALLY WITHOUT ANY BREAK AND OUR FOLKS WILL BE IN ALL THE OFFICES AROUND THE CLOCK DURING THIS STORM.))
[OUT Q=during this storm]
V-Dot crews prepare to work day and night as Governor Warner declares a state of emergency across the Commonwealth.
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at 6]
Good evening, I'm Teresa Hamilton.
[GRAPHIC=News 7 at 6]
The state of emergency is in response to this latest winter storm-- that's dumped a mixture of snow, sleet and freezing rain across the state.
Flooding and high winds have also been a problem in some areas.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Teresa/Brent - WXCENTER]
Let's go straight to Brent Watts in the weather center for an update on conditions.
[TOSS TO TERESA]
Today's wintry mix made for treacherous road conditions throughout the region.
It's also forced the cancellation of many schools, churches, and businesses.
And, air-travel is virtually at a halt.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Teresa / Justin PATIO CAM;]
Justin McLeod joins us now with an update on conditions at this hour. Justin?
Teresa, it remains a dangerous situation in many parts of our area.
V-Dot is reporting that Pittsylvania, Nelson and Amherst County are all under severe road conditions at this hour.
Roads are also extremely icy in Craiq County and some routes are closed in Pulaski and Giles County due to flooding.
Crews plan to work throughout the night and day to clear the primary roads.
But judging by what has happened so far today, it is going to remain a tricky situation on the ground and in the air.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Vicky Thompson; :14]
[SUPER=01-Robyn Rodger; :27]
[SUPER=01-Colin Whittington; :44]
[SUPER=01-Laura Bullock/V-DOT Spokesperson; 1:13]
[SUPER=01-Joe Adams/Air-Traveler; 1:42 (QUICK)]
[SUPER=01-Susan Mitchell/Air-Traveler; 1:47]
[OUT Q=BUT NO MORE FEBRUARY VISITS]
((((NAT SOUND OF BANGING ON ICE AT 42:48))
((NAT SOUND OF OPENING DOOR AT 57:45 ON TAPE 2))
((NAT SOUND OF PLOW))
((NAT SOUND OF WALKING THROUGH THE SNOW AT 36:00))
((NAT SOUND OF SCRAPING OF CAR))
These are the sights and sounds of the storm that dropped a good mix of sleet, snow, and ice throughout the region.
[IN Q=I didn't know]
((VICKY THOMPSON: I DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT. I WENT TO BED AT ONE O'CLOCK THIS MORNING AND WENT ON WELL WHATEVER HAPPENS I HAVE TO BE THERE ANYWAY.))
[OUT Q=there anyway]
((QUICK NAT SOUND OF SCRAPING))
This is what most woke up to find, a thick sheet of ice that proved almost impossible to remove.
[IN Q=I've poured the hot ]
((ROBYN RODGERS: I'VE POURED THE HOT WATER ON AND LIKE I SAID JUST PUT THE DEFROSTER ON AND LET IT HEAT UP AS BEST IT CAN AND JUST LET IT DO MOST OF THE WORK FOR ME.))
[OUT Q=work for me]
The defroster could only do so much as drivers discovered once they hit the road.
Many had to pull over to scrape again.
[IN Q=I got on here]
((COLIN WHITTINGTON: I GOT ON HERE AND JUST LIKE I SAID YOU COULDN'T SEE ANYTHING I COULDN'T EVEN READ ROAD SIGNS.))
[OUT Q=read road signs]
The roads themselves were no better.
Crews worked through the night and into the morning to keep the roads clear.
By mid afternoon, drivers on I-81 saw bare pavement.
City streets like Main Street in Salem remained covered throughout the day.
((QUICK NAT SOUND OF V-DOT PLOW))
V-Dot warns it could take days before the secondary roads are free of snow and ice.
[IN Q=By the looks of things]
((LAURA BULLOCK/V-DOT SPOKESPERSON: BY THE LOOKS OF THINGS TODAY THIS IS EXPECTED TO GO ALL DAY LONG PEOPLE MAY NOT SEE PLOWS ON THEIR NEIGHBORHOOD ROADS AT ALL.))
[OUT Q=roads at all]
Many heeded the advice to stay off the roads altogether.
The State Police reported just a few minor accidents. (ROB CHEWNING TAPE)
It may have helped that many churches and businesses like the Valley View Mall decided to close its door Sunday.
The Roanoke Regional airport remained open but many travelers found plenty of delayed or canceled flights.
Some decided to stay, others chose to pack it in.
[SOT 33:23; 32:09]
[IN Q=When we called]
((JOE ADAMS/AIR-TRAVELER: WHEN WE CALLED, BLACKSBURG IS 36 MILES, WHEN WE CALLED IT WASN'T CAN CELLED THEN WHEN WE GOT HERE IT WAS CAN CELLED.))
((SUSAN MITCHELL/AIR-TRAVELER: THIS WILL BE THE LAST FEBRUARY I VISIT ROANOKE, I LOVE IT IN THE SUMMER BUT NO MORE FEBRUARY VISITS.))
[OUT Q=NO MORE FEBRUARY VISITS] ))
The Roanoke Regional Airport remains open but hardly any flights are getting out at this hour.
Before you head to the airport, you can check out their website. You can find a link at our website at wdbj7.com.
That will give you specific information about a certain flight.
[DOUBLE BOXES=Teresa / Justin PATIO CAM;]
Teresa, A-E-P reports just a few scattered power outages throughout the area, and State Police are reporting one fatality in Pulaski County on Interstate 81.
The nasty weather put a damper on many people's plans today around the New River Valley.
From getting around...to getting the word.
Myranda Stephens explains.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=THE ICE, IT JUST DOESN'T]
[SUPER=02-Matt Morrison/Private Contractor;]
[SUPER=03-Montgomery Co.; :06]
[SUPER=01-William Hurst; :32]
[SUPER=01-Ruth Carter; :44]
[OUT Q=NEWS 7, MONTGOMERY COUNTY]
(([SOT 10:09][COVER BITE!!!]
((THE ICE, IT JUST DOESN'T WANT TO PLOW UP IT JUST PACKS DOWN AND ONCE YOU GET SNOW ON TOP OF IT YOU STILL HAVE A LAYER OF ICE UP UNDER IT 10:13))
Thanks to this, Sunday morning just wasn't quite the same.
At most churches, the doors of the church were NOT open.
And Blacksburg Transit's park and ride took on a different meaning, when the buses stayed parked, and the ride, well, was on you.
[7:49 NATS OF ICE SCRAPER]
And those who braved the roads said they DID not because they wanted to.
[SOT 7:05][COVER THIS BITE!!!]
((I'M JUST GETTING SOME STUFF FOR DINNER. 7:07))
((WE WERE GOING TO GO OUT ORIGINALLY THEN DECIDED WE WEREN'T GOING TO GO OUT. I FIGURED IT'S MUCH SAFER JUST FOR ME TO GO OUT INSTEAD OF ME MY WIFE AND MY SON. 7:17))
And while some left home to run a quick errand, others were just trying to get home.
((REPORTER: HOW MUCH OF A DRIVE IS IT? RUTH CARTER: SIX HOURS. SO WE'LL SEE HOW FAR I MAKE IT OR IF I FIND A HOTEL ROOM LATER ON (LAUGHS) 14:53))
Wherever your destination, V-Dot warns drivers to avoid using the backstreets if they can, because it will be a while before they get them cleared.
Perhaps, another reason to make THIS Sunday a day of rest.
Myranda Stephens, News 7, Montgomery County.))
It was supposed to turn into snow, but central Virginia has mostly seen sleet and freezing rain fall east of the Blue Ridge Mountains over the last 24 hours.
As Steve Smallshaw reports, traveling has been difficult but not impossible.
(///// SOT /////)
[IN Q=It was not]
[SUPER=01-Gaynelle Hart/Lynchburg Public Works; 1:04]
[OUT Q=News7, Lynchburg.]
(( It was not a day for sun worshippers or any kind of worshippers for that matter.
With the exception of just a handful of churches like Thomas Road Baptist, most houses of worship were closed up tight as the storm raged through central Virginia.
Downtown Altavista was quiet and frozen with just a few vehicles on the streets this morning.. it was the same story on Main Street in Bedford where several inches of sleet had piled up by mid-day.
[natsot plows ]
Conditions remained sloppy throughout central Virginia all day.
The Lynchburg airport was nearly empty.. planes couldn't make it in and those on the tarmac here weren't going anywhere soon either.
Ice wasn't nice to motorists as well.. if they did try to venture out, thawing their car proved to be a major undertaking.
((I JUST GOT OUT HERE ABOUT FIVE MINUTES AGO. IT TOOK ME A WHILE TO GET MY TRUNK OPEN THOUGH, IT WAS FROZEN SHUT.))
In Lynchburg, where the snow removal budget has already been exhausted for this year, 50 trucks have kept up a steady attack on the streets since last night.
((GAYNELLE HART/LYNCHBURG PUBLIC WORKS: LAST NIGHT THEY PUT A GOOD COAT OF SALT DOWN AND EVER SINCE THEN THEY'VE BEEN PLOWING AND TRYING TO STAY AHEAD.))
((WE'VE BEEN PLOWING OUR PRIMARIES AND OUR SECONDARIES EVER SINCE IT STARTED, JUST TRYING TO KEEP UP.))
[OUT Q=to keep up.]
Yet even as Old Man Winter tightened his grip on the region, there were signs of spring.. a few wayward robins wondering whether being the early bird might not be such a good idea after all.
Steve Smallshaw, News7, Lynchburg. ))
Still ahead on News 7 at 6, we'll take a break from the winter weather, but Brent will be back with your full forecast,
before that two police forces welcome their newest class of recruits. Stay with us, we have much more on News 7 at 6.
The City of Roanoke and Roanoke County welcomed 10- new police officers to the force.
Friday's graduation represents a milestone for the Roanoke Police Academy.
This is the 50th class to graduate from the basic school.
Four Roanoke City recruits and six Roanoke County officers spent 6 months learning the trade, and say they are ready to hit the pavement and fight crime.
(///// SOT /////)
[SOT 15:52:47 - 04]
[IN Q=We've had a ]
[SUPER=01-Barak Plogger/Roanoke City Graduate; :00]
((WE'VE HAD A LOT OF ACADEMIC AS WELL AS PHYSICAL TRAINING, TAKEN TESTS THROUGHOUT AS MANDATED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE, JUST SIX MONTHS... A LOT OF STUFF THERE. ))
[OUT Q=of stuff there. ]
The cadets will now continue their training with active members of the force.
It's called an anchor for downtown Lexington-- and now it's getting a leg up.
[VO-NAT - :15+]
The Lexington Historic Foundation recently bought the (RAH-ber-sun FAY-len) Roberson-Phalen House on Jefferson Street.
Now the house will need to be jacked up, and have major work done on the foundation.
The historic foundation hopes to restore the house-- which is one of the city's oldest-- and turn it into office space.
And still to come on the newscast, we'll take a broader view of the history of Rockbridge County,
and we'll meet the man who has to put two-hundred fifty years into just a few pages.
Rockbridge County has loads of history, and now one man has been asked to put all of it on paper.
Richard Lesko has more.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Charles Bodie/Historian; :16]
(( Retired VMI history professor Charles Bodie has long road ahead of him, condensing more two-hundred fifty years of Rockbridge County history into one book.
[SOT - 13:55:58]
[INQ=There's so much...]
((CHARLES BODIE/HISTORIAN; THERE'S SO MUCH HISTORY HERE, PEOPLE BREATHE HISTORY IN THIS AREA. ANYBODY WHO HAS PASSED THROUGH THE AREA ENCOUNTERS SO MUCH HISTORY, AND IT'S AN EXCITING PROJECT TO GET INTO.))
[OUTQ=to get into]
Scores of household names called the area home or had ties to the county.
The Natural Bridge sparked the interest of Thomas Jefferson so much that he bought the land.
Cyrus McCormick spawned a new era in agriculture with the invention of the world's first successful mechanical reaper in 1831.
However, take a look around and you'll see the influence of two generals who left an indelible mark on the area.
Thomas J "Stonewall" Jackson lived in Lexington from 1851-1861, while he was a professor of Natural Philosophy and an instructor of artillery tactics at the Virginia Military Institute.
Robert E. Lee made his first trip to Lexington after the trustees of then Washington College asked Lee to serve as president of the cash-strapped school in 1865.
[SOT - 14:02:13]
[INQ=They turned to Lee...]
((CHARLES BODIE/HISTORIAN; THEY TURNED TO LEE TO REBUILD THE COLLEGE, TO USE HIS NAME AND REPUTATION IN PART TO FIND NEW FUNDING FOR THE SCHOOL. AND SO HE DID COME AT THE END OF THE WAR AND STAYED HERE UNTIL HE DIED IN 1870.))
[OUTQ=died in 1870]
The last history of the area was written in 1920, now the Rockbridge Historical Society has commissioned Bodie to put pen to paper to update that work.
The book will cover all aspects of the history, from the Scotch Irish immigrants who first settled the area, through the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, to desegregation and the present.
[SOT - 13:57:10]
[INQ=You get the impression...]
((CHARLES BODIE/HISTORIAN; YOU GET THE IMPRESSION WHEN YOU COME HERE THAT THERE WAS NO HISTORY BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR, AND MAYBE THAT'S WHEN IT ALL STARTED. PEOPLE FORGET THAT LEXINGTON IS NAMED AFTER LEXINGTON, MASSACHUSETTS, AND WE ARE IN A SENSE A PRODUCT OF THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR, AND THAT'S OFTEN IGNORED.))
[OUTQ=that's often ignored.]
Bodie says the project should take him about 5 years to complete, while new history is being made every day.
Richard Lesko, News 7.))
Coming up, racing, rain, and wrecks from Daytona, the weather plays havoc with the area sports schedule,
and the Tech women come up short in Beantown. Highlights on the way next.
Only twice in the history of the Daytona 500 has the race been affected by rain. Back in 1965 and then again in 1966, the event was shortened by Mother Nature. This afternoon, the wet stuff had a say again, but that was o-k by Michael Waltrip.
[SUPER=03-Daytona, FL/Fox Sports; :00]
Partly sunny skies ruled at the green flag but they wouldn't last long.
Just 63 laps in the caution came out for the second time when Ken Schrader got knocked into Ryan Newman as the pack exited turn four. Newman, the rookie of the year from a season ago got the worst of it, as he goes on a wild ride, flipping thru the grass. Fortunately, he was able to walk away from the spectacular crash.
Just a short time later, the rain showers took over, red flagging the race for just over an hour.
When the race resumed, outside pole sitter, Dale Earnhardt, Junior lost his chance at the win thanks to a faulty battery.
His running mate on the front row, Jeff Green didn't fare much better smacking the wall and tearing up the AOL machine.
At lap 109, the rain was back, and Michael Waltrip was out front. Waltrip was eventually declared the winner of the Great American Race. It's his third career win, all three coming at Daytona.
(///// SOT /////)
[SUPER=01-Michael Waltrip/2nd Daytona 500 Win; :00]
[OUT Q=that come true here."]
[WIPE TO MOTION]
[SUPER=0106-1. Michael Waltrip//2. Kurt Busch//3. Jimmie Johnson//4. Kevin Harvick//5. Mark Martin//;]
[SUPER=0106-6. Robby Gordon//7. Tony Stewart//8. Jeremy Mayfield//9. Mike Wallace//10. Dale Jarrett//;]
[SUPER=0106-11. Jeff Burton//12. Jeff Gordon//13. Kyle Petty//14. Jack Sprague//15. Ricky Rudd//;]
[SUPER=0106-16. Kenny Wallace//17. Sterling Marlin//18. Todd Bodine//19. Johnny Benson//20. Matt Kenseth//;]
[SUPER=0106-21. Greg Biffle//22. Joe Nemechek//23. Elliott Sadler//24. Dave Blaney//25. Rusty Wallace//;]
[OUT Q=.....last driver."]
The Virginia Tech Lady Hokies had won four straight games and seven of their last eight entering this afternoon's contest at Boston College.
[SUPER=03-Boston, MA/Big East Network; :00]
Bonnie Henrickson's club was a game ahead of BC in the standings, tied for third with Villanova.
The Lady Hokies shot just 31 percent in the first half. Carrie Mason kept Tech in it, by scoring 10 of her 12 points in the first 20 minutes, but Tech trailed 32-24.
[SUPER=33-Virginia Tech/47/Boston College/65/;]
The Eagles Becky Gottstein was a workhorse this afternoon. She scored a game high 22 points as Boston College went on to win it 65 to 47.
The Virginia Women began their final two game road trip of the season today in Atlanta against Georgia Tech.
[SUPER=03-Atlanta, GA/ESPN2; :00]
Debbie Ryan and company came in at just 5 and 7 in league play.
Coach Ryan liked to see this. Cherisse Graham getting to the rack for 2 of her 22 points in the contest. UVA led by nine at the break.
Later Anna Crosswhite then buries the three from the top.
Georgia Tech got to within one late, but Graham finished things off with the lay-in and Virginia hung on to win it 56 to 54.
The winter storm that has gripped the East Coast has forced the postponement of tonight's ACC men's showdown between Wake Forest and Maryland. The metro D-C area has received about a foot and a half of snow. The Deacs and Terps will now stage their first place battle tomorrow afternoon.
ic Center has been postponed. No makeup date has been set.
The weather has also affected the Roanoke Dazzle. Tomorrow's President's Day contest with Fayetteville at the Civ