The City of Winchester is prepared to adequately respond to the needs of our community if the area is impacted by severe weather. Check this site often for updates and current information about City services, responses and recommendations from state offices, and more. You can also follow the City of Winchester on Facebook and Twitter for updates.
Notices and information about storms and forecasts for hazardous weather will be posted here.
- 2/19/19, 8:00 pm - The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for our area from 1 am Wednesday (2/20) to 1 am Thursday (2/21). Accumulations of 4-7" is expected. A Winter Storm Warning means significant amounts of snow, sleet and ice will make travel very hazardous or impossible.
Notices and information about the City's response efforts and services during winter storms will be posted here.
- 2/21/19 Updates:
- All City admin offices and WinTran will operate on normal schedule. The Jim Barnett Park's HIVE No School Day program will open at 9 am (bring a packed lunch). Call WPRD at 540-662-4946 for more info.
- 2/20/19 Updates:
- 7:30 am - All City administrative offices, the Jim Barnett Park Rec Center, WinTran, Visitor Center, and Old Town Welcome Center are closed. Today's cardboard collection is moved to Friday, 2/22. For snow response concerns, please call Public Works at (540) 667-2399. Staff will be available 8 am-8 pm.
- 4:00 am - All City administrative offices will operate on a 2-hour delay. Jim Barnett Park will open at 10 am (No School Day Program will not be offered). WinTran will open at 10 am with first routes beginning at 10:40 am. Conditions will be re-evaluated at 7:30 am and schedule adjustment made. Check back for updates.
- 2/19/19 Updates:
- 8:00 pm - City schools are closed Wednesday (2/20). Snow Plan B will be activated at midnight. Visit the Public Works snow procedures web page for details on the City's Snow Plans.
- 2/19, 8:00 pm - City distributes a newsletter explaining the City's snow removal process and provides ways residents and businesses can help. Read Newsletter
- Monitor your local news and radio stations.
- Check the City’s Facebook page, Twitter feed and website for information and updates when available.
- If you live or work in the City of Winchester and are not currently registered to receive emergency and weather notifications through the City’s emergency notification system (Winchester Alerts powered by Everbridge), we encourage you to take the time to register today and customize your alert preferences. Get alerts for snow plan activations, City facility closures, refuse/recycling collection changes, scheduled road closures and more.
Report Power Outages Immediately
If you experience a power outage, please call Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative (SVEC). SVEC urges its customers to call 1-800-234-7832 anytime there is a power outage and to not assume that others have reported the outage. By calling any time you experience an outage, you help crews respond more efficiently and restore your service more quickly.
What You Should Do:
General (all disasters)
- Know the weather terms and what you should do:
- Watch - Conditions are favorable for the severe weather to occur and preparation for action is strongly encouraged.
- Warning - The severe weather has been seen or picked up by radar and requires more immediate action. Follow instructions for evacuation, sheltering, etc.
- Know the road conditions before you travel. Go to www.511Virginia.org or dial 511 from any phone for real-time traffic information and road condition reports.
- Do not make any attempts to clear trees or other debris from power lines. Note the location, and any other important information regarding these situations, and contact SVEC. Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative will work to ensure that power is restored as soon as possible.
- Avoid contact with downed power lines.
- If you depend on electricity for medical equipment or a mobility device, ensure all batteries are fully charged each day and be prepared to evacuate with extra batteries and any charging equipment you will need.
- Stay off roads. If trapped in your car, then stay inside.
- Stay indoors and dress warmly.
- Prepare for power outages and ensure all batteries are fully charged each day.
- Use generators outside only and away from windows.
- Listen for emergency information and alerts.
- Look for signs of hypothermia and frostbite.
- Check on neighbors and notify your support network now. Start planning ahead for any disability-related or medical needs.
- Do not drive through high water. Stay at home as severe weather arrives.
- Be prepared to evacuate. If evacuated, do not return to your home until local officials say it is safe. After floodwaters recede, roads could be weakened and could collapse. Buildings might be unstable, and drinking water might be contaminated.
- Use common sense. If water is rising quickly or you see a moving wall of mud or debris, immediately move to higher ground.
- Do not walk through moving water. What might seem like a small amount of moving water can easily knock you down.
- If you will need to use paratransit, be sure to consider the amount of extra time you may need should evacuation be recommended. Find out now whether you will need to schedule a ride 24 hours in advance, how many personal items you are allowed to evacuate with, and whether your pets will be allowed on the paratransit vehicle.
- Decide how and where everyone will meet up with each other if separated.
- Choose an out-of-town emergency contact for your family and give that person’s phone number to each family member.
- Sign up for text alerts/weather warnings that may be offered by your locality.
- Pre-pack a hurricane supply kit with a minimum three-day supply of essential items, such as water, non-perishable food, first aid kit, extra batteries and prescribed medications. Don't forget about your pet's needs.
- Secure garbage cans, lawn furniture or anything that could become airborne and cause damage.
- Helpful smartphone apps:
- The SVEC app, MySVEC, is a great tool to use to report your outage and monitor restoration progress from your mobile device.
- Download the FEMA app and receive real-time alerts from the National Weather Service, learn emergency safety tips and locate open emergency shelters and find disaster recovery centers (English and Spanish).
- Review road conditions, incident and construction updates and traffic information on the 511 Virginia app.