Vermont blizzard and significant snowstorm update

in News/Vermont by

WATERBURY – A Blizzard Warning for the Champlain Valley of Vermont and Winter Storm Warning for the remainder of Vermont are still active and will be into tomorrow.

The National Weather Service predicts a minimum of 18-inches of snow in most areas of Vermont with two feet or more in some spots.

The Vermont State Police advise that driving conditions on Interstate 89 and 91 are extremely difficult. Drivers heading home from work are experiencing whiteout conditions with very low visibility.

On I-89 in Chittenden County, at least five vehicles have been involved in slide-offs. No injuries have been reported, however, multiple cars have been abandoned in place by their owners, as operators seek safety from the ongoing storm.

Authorities say if you do slide off the road, call for help and police will provide you with safe transportation. Ensure your tailpipe is clear of snow or turn off your car to avoid a buildup of carbon monoxide in the car if you are buried in snow.

Vermont State Police are advising the owners of cars involved in slide-offs that they will not be allowed to tow their vehicles for the time being due to road conditions. VSP will arrange for removal when it is safe to do so.

VSP is strongly recommending drivers remain off the roadways. If you must drive, please be prepared for blizzard conditions and drive appropriately for conditions.

VSP and the Agency of Transportation report that no major state roads have closed for any extended period. A handful have closed temporarily throughout the day to allow for the clearing of auto accidents.

If you encounter a road that is closed, please respect all detours.

The Vermont State Police are also asking that people not call emergency dispatch or 911 to determine road or traffic conditions. During major weather events, dispatchers are busy handling emergency calls and supporting first responders.

Please visit: http://vtstatepolice.blogspot.com/ or http://vtrans.vermont.gov/operations/winter for road information or call 2-1-1.

You can also get road, weather, and other alerts sent to you through Vermont Alert: http://vtalert.gov.

Carbon monoxide (CO) continues to be a concern as the snow gets deeper. CO is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause flu-like illness or death. Symptoms of CO poisoning are like the flu and include nausea, headache, and dizziness.

If you feel these symptoms, leave the home and call for help.

Ensure all heating vents are clear of snow as a blocked vent can create a buildup of CO in the home, never use a generator indoors, and always have working CO and Smoke detectors in your home and in all living areas.

Check on neighbors, especially those who are elderly or who may otherwise need special assistance. Be sure their heating vents are clear of snow, and during a prolonged weather event that they have heat, electricity and any needed medical supplies.

Take it easy while shoveling. Overexertion can bring on a heart attack—a major cause of death during the winter.

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