January 4, 2022 – Stafford County has declared a local state of emergency today in response to recent inclement weather starting January 3, 2022. The declaration will allow the County to be eligible for federal and state reimbursements at a later date related to this emergency. The declaration lifts certain procurement laws to allow the County Administrator to take necessary actions during the declaration.
In addition, it gives Stafford access to state mutual aid. Since yesterday, the County's Emergency Operations Center has been activated and will remain open for as long as required.
County Administrator Frederick Presley stated, "This is an unprecedented weather event. It is critical that we declare this emergency to ensure the well-being and safety of our community and staff as our top priority."
The snowfall totals and the number of power outages show that Stafford County was the storm's epicenter. Stafford's public safety and emergency personnel have worked countless hours through this storm, with the backdrop of the seven-day rolling average for positive COVID cases standing at an all-time high of 36.6%. The pandemic is stretching resources.
The decision has also been made to close County Government offices, including the Courts (General District, Circuit and JDR), on January 5, 2022. The Regional Landfill will have a delayed opening at 9:00 a.m.
The Conserve Water Alert will continue until January 5, 2022, out of an abundance of caution as I-95 is still closed. Once I-95 is moving traffic again, the alert will end. We continue to ask people to stay home and not venture out. The National Weather Service predicts the possibility of freezing rain tomorrow that will worsen roads.
EMERGENCIES AND SHELTERING
We ask people seeking shelter to STAY-IN-PLACE if at all possible. VDOT needs as many people to stay off the roads so that public safety and utility crews can reach those in need and begin to restore power. Please stay off the roads unless it is essential as the County looks to provide more resources tomorrow with more accessible roads available. Many businesses are also closed due to staffing shortages from COVID and the conditions of the roads. Stafford is working with VDOT and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management to clear up roads to enable them to reopen. We also ask that people only call 911 for emergencies only. Thousands of people are without power and limited food supply, but we need our emergency lines to stay open for just emergencies only.
Stafford is opening a warming center and shelter at Stafford High School, 63 Stafford Indians Lane, Fredericksburg, VA 22405. The warming center will be open from 4:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. After that, it will become an overnight shelter for stranded individuals. At this time, Stafford County does not have the assets to provide transportation to and from the shelter. Again, we ask that for all that can to shelter in place.
Please access the following resources below:
- Check for all updates and alerts by visiting staffordcountyva.gov
- Visit the follow outage maps:
- Visit the VDOT site for snowplows at https://www.vdotplows.org
Lastly, Stafford asks for help from the public. Please check on your neighbors, especially the elderly, and share heat and supplies. Be mindful of limiting exposure due to the pandemic. Stafford County continues to reassess the situation and will provide updates to the community to notify the public if there are any changes.