Our plow operators keep working day and night to attempt to clear passable lanes on HOA owned streets. Most of these crews have not seen their own beds, more than a few hours of sleep, a hot meal, or their families in over 80 hours. They are putting in long hours to help keep you safe.
To give you an idea of the sheer volume of snow they are dealing with, the association is responsible for 1.2 million square feet of road surface to clear (This figure does not include any community building parking lots or sidewalks and trails). 36” inches of snow means 3.6 million cubic feet of snow to clear. 5 lbs per cubic foot means 18 million pounds of snow to move – or roughly 9,000 tons. Granted those figures take into account clearing curb to curb, which is not feasible at this time. With plowing one passable lane, this still leaves about 4,000 TONS of snow to move – with the added complication of finding places to put it all. Please be patient as they do their best to clear your roads.
Additionally, since Virginia is under a state of emergency, some of our heavy equipment has been commandeered by the state in order to provide emergency assistance. Two tractors were pulled for medical bone marrow donor emergencies, and additional crews are working at this moment to assist the state with other emergency medical needs. (Note: the HOA is not billed for the times when the plows are working for anyone other than the HOA.) Please understand that they have not forgotten you. They will be back as soon as they are able.
We understand that the VDOT phone lines are overwhelmed as well, but please continue to contact VDOT directly at 703-383-8368. The HOA staff and contractors cannot assist with VDOT owned streets.
Loudoun County Urges Residents to Be Patient as Snow Removal Operations Continue
Loudoun County officials continue to work with our state and local partners to support snow removal operations. We recognize that many residents are frustrated with plowing operations in their neighborhoods and we ask for patience as crews continue to work to help get people moving again.
The significant amounts of snowfall have impacted crews’ ability to clear roads as quickly as Loudoun County residents have seen following snowfalls in the past. The Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) has advised that crews continue 24-hour operations in area subdivisions. VDOT and its contractors, who number about 9,600, have about 48,000 miles of subdivision roads to clear in the Northern Virginia District. In many places, we should not expect to see bare pavement for many days due to the volume of snow that has to be removed.
County officials recognize that many residents are concerned about who is responsible for snow removal on their neighborhood streets. While Loudoun County Government has been doing all it can to support snow removal operations, the county does not plow snow on the vast majority of roads in our community. Here’s some information about who maintains/plows roads:
- VDOT is responsible for snow removal on state-managed roads. These typically include major roadways, secondary roads and subdivision roads that are not managed privately by homeowners associations (HOAs) or private-contract, such as shopping center lots.
- The Towns of Purcellville and Leesburg are responsible for plowing town-managed roads within their jurisdictions.
- HOAs or property-owners typically manage snow removal in residential areas, such as around townhomes, condos, apartments, and on private property.
- Developers are responsible for a small number of developments that are still under their purview because the roads have not yet been entered into the state system; in these cases, developers have responsibility for removing snow.
- Loudoun County removes snow from a very small number of streets that are managed by the county government.
The difficulty of snow removal efforts during this historic snow event has been compounded by a number of other factors. For example, some snow removal equipment that is typically used by contractors on residential streets has proven inadequate for the volume of snow that has fallen. As a result, heavy equipment (that is typically used on major roadways and highways) must be brought in to get the job done, which has delayed the plowing of many residential streets. VDOT crews are working non-stop to clear the 16,000 neighborhood streets in Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William counties. Check for plow progress near your house.
- Motorists should avoid unnecessary travel as low overnight temperatures likely will result in icy pavement conditions.
- If residents have a serious emergency (i.e. medical or fire), they should call 9-1-1 and VDOT will work in coordination with emergency responders to get them the help they need.
- Crews are asked to be mindful of pushing large piles onto driveways, but in an extreme storm it is an unintended consequence of making roads passable.
Call VDOT’s Customer Service Center at I-800-367-7623 for more information, including plowing and treatment of roadways.
Loudoun County Encourages Residents to Help Each Other During Recovery Effort
Loudoun County encourages residents to work together as a community to help clear snow from sidewalks, trails, driveways and parking lots following the historic storm that dumped more than two feet of snow in some areas. In particular, please help neighbors who need assistance due to their physical abilities, health or other conditions.
While the, homeowners associations, and private contractors are primarily responsible for snow removal, Loudoun County officials recommend that where possible, neighbors, faith communities, and other groups organize shovel brigades to help people safely move around our county again as soon as possible. Please consider helping your neighbors who might be away from home on vacation. With school out Monday through Wednesday, youngsters can take a break from video games and other indoor activities. Those who are lucky enough to own a snow blower could volunteer to share the equipment for a community snow-removal effort.
As a reminder, please shovel snow with care to avoid injury and over exertion. In addition, the Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Management suggests residents and clear a three-foot radius around the hydrant, which helps firefighters to quickly spot the hydrant and access it quickly in the event of an emergency.