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Region gets first significant snowfall of the season

Cardboard, yoga mats, placemats, plastic box lids, laundry baskets, inflatable inner tubes and a mattress joined traditional sleds as community members took to the big hill at Charlottesville’s Washington Park on Sunday.

The National Weather Service predicted “ice accumulations of a light glaze” would follow Sunday’s snowfall, which left several inches of accumulation.

Snow fell through midday before tapering off to an intermittent mix of light snow, sleet and freezing rain.

Additional light snow and ice is likely Monday into Monday night, the weather service said.

Dozens of area residents went sledding at Washington Park on Sunday afternoon as the snow turned to freezing rain. One group of University of Virginia students said they didn’t expect the park to be “so crowded.”

“We thought it was just going to be a couple of us, but everybody was out here,” said one student, who declined to give his name.

Buzzing Bee Coffee Co., a new area food truck, was also at the park, selling hot chocolate and coffee.

“What goes better with sledding than hot chocolate?” said Brian Wahl, with Buzzing Bee. “I don’t know if there’s something more quintessential.”

Trained spotters with the NWS measured around four inches of snow in Albemarle County and Charlottesville by early afternoon.

The Virginia Department of Transportation said drivers on Monday should clear all of the snow and ice off of their vehicle, including off the roof, drive for the conditions by reducing speed and increasing following distance and stay alert for potentially icy surfaces.

Albemarle, Greene, Louisa and Orange counties and Charlottesville public schools will be closed Monday, including no virtual learning. Albemarle and Charlottesville said student meal programs also are canceled.

JAUNT canceled its rural service for Monday, but still planned to run its ADA and Connect services. The bus service encouraged community members to monitor its social media sites for the latest information.

According to the Virginia State Police, as of 2 p.m. Sunday, the Appomattox Division — which covers Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene and Nelson — had responded to 30 traffic crashes and 37 disabled vehicles.

Statewide, between 12 a.m. through 2 p.m. Sunday, state troopers responded to 252 traffic crashes and 231 disabled or stuck vehicles.

VDOT’s Culpeper District — which includes Charlottesville and the counties of Albemarle, Fluvanna, Greene, Louisa, Madison and Orange — said around 9:45 a.m. Sunday that its crews were plowing major highways and treating the roads with sand and salt, and would move onto other roads once those were in good condition and the snow had stopped.

In a 4:30 p.m. update, VDOT said crews were treating secondary roads and neighborhood streets, and would continue working around the clock until all roads were passable.

According to electricity providers, there were only a handful of power outages in the area Sunday.


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