Winter storm leads to numerous closures, accidents in Va.



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NORFOLK, Virginia — A winter storm dumped more than 8 inches of snow in parts of Virginia on Thursday, with the southeastern area of the state being the hardest hit.

At its peak, the storm knocked out power to about 10,000 people throughout the state, primarily in Hampton Roads.

The storm resulted in widespread closures among schools, government offices and major employers that kept many commuters off of snow-covered roads. Still, Virginia State Police reported responding to hundreds of crashes and disabled vehicles.

Here's a look at some of the impacts of the storm.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL

The women's basketball game between Old Dominion and Rice drew an intentionally sparse crowd.

ODU encouraged fans to stay away from the Ted Constant Convocation Center due to the winter storm that blanketed Norfolk on Thursday.

ODU said in a statement that fans and students who could walk to the arena were welcome. But the university encouraged others who would have had to travel to stay away for their own safety.

ODU broadcast the Thursday morning game on its website. The live feed showed a few dozen fans in the arena, where admission for the day was free.

ODU says fans can redeem their Rice game tickets for free admission to the home finale against North Texas on Saturday or for any regular season women's game next season.

MOTORIST REPRIEVE

Chesapeake temporarily stopped collecting tolls on the Chesapeake Expressway due to hazardous driving conditions on the roadway and in the toll plaza. In Norfolk, residents were able to keep their cars clear of snow by parking in city-owned garages.

Norfolk opened up its parking garages to residents on Wednesday night in advance of a winter storm that dumped several inches of snow on the city into Thursday morning.

The city also opens up its garages for residents to park in for free during hurricanes to help residents in low-lying areas avoid having their cars flooded.

City crews are working to clear major thoroughfares of snow, but it could take days for snow on neighborhood streets to melt.

The city has also declared a state of emergency to help it apply for federal reimbursement for its storm costs.

TOURISM CLOSURE

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation says its historic grounds will remain closed due to severe weather.

The closure affects historic area sites, the regional visitor center, the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Library.

The foundation had originally planned to open Colonial Williamsburg late on Thursday.

The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation preserves, restores and operates Virginia's 18th-century capital of Williamsburg.

PORT TERMINALS

The Port of Virginia says it closed its terminal in Richmond due to heavier than expected snowfall.

The port originally had hoped to keep the Richmond terminal open, even as its terminals and Hampton Roads were shuttered due to the snowstorm.

The Virginia Inland Port remained open on Thursday.

The port anticipates having the Port of Richmond open on Friday. Operations at the Hampton Roads terminals and its offices should be back to normal by Monday.

TRAIN TRAVEL

Amtrak suspended some train service due to the winter weather moving through the mid-Atlantic region. Northeast Regional trains between Norfolk, Virginia and Richmond, Virginia were cancelled Thursday, along with the Northeast Regional between Newport News, Virginia and Washington.

Amtrak says the Palmetto train that operates between New York City and Savannah, Georgia was also cancelled for Thursday.

The Acela Express and Northeast Regional trains between Washington and Boston are operating on a normal schedule.

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