Environment and Outdoors

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Photo: Friends of BRP

An organization that helps keep the Blue Ridge Parkway attractions looking their best is looking for more volunteers. They will be needed more than ever once the partial government shutdown ends. Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway volunteers help with things like keeping trails and overlooks cleared of trash and small debris. And with our winter weather so far — and the ongoing shutdown — plenty of work will await them. WFIR’s Evan Jones has the story:

01-16 parkway Friends Wrap-WEB

Click here for Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway website.

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for the region, continuing through Sunday evening. The National Weather Service says three to six inches of snow and sleet accumulations are possible, with the higher snowfall amounts north of US 460. While snow started falling Saturday afternoon, the greatest impact is expected Saturday night into Sunday morning.


* WHAT…Heavy snow and sleet expected. Total snow and sleet accumulations of 3 to 6 inches expected.

* WHERE…From the New River and Roanoke Valleys east to the piedmont of Virginia.

* WHEN…Until 7 PM EST Sunday.

* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel will become very hazardous due to slippery roads covered in snow and sleet, along with reduced visibility, especially tonight into Sunday.

WDBJ7 radar


A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you
must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.


The National Weather Service has posted a flood watch from Thursday evening through Saturday morning. Forecasters say one to three inches of rain are expected across the region, and that could lead to flooding of small streams and creeks — along with the possibility of minor flooding along larger waterways, including the Roanoke and Dan Rivers.

From the National Weather Service: A Flood Watch has been issued from Thursday evening through Saturday morning. 1 to 3 inches of rain are expected along and east of the central  Appalachians Thursday night through late Friday. Flooding of small streams and creeks is possible. Minor flooding is possible along main stem rivers and tributaries, especially in the Roanoke and Dan River basins. A Flood Watch means there is a potential for flooding based on current forecasts.

NEWS RELEASE: RICHMOND, VA. – At today’s State Water Control Board (Board) meeting in Richmond, the Board approved a motion to conduct a hearing to consider the revocation of Virginia’s Upland 401 Water Quality Certification for the Mountain Valley Pipeline (MVP) project. The process and schedule will be formalized over the next few weeks.

(Check back for updates.)

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) – A federal appeals court has invalidated a permit for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline to cross two national forests, including parts of the Appalachian Trail. A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found Thursday that the U.S. Forest Service “abdicated its responsibility to preserve national forest resources” when it approved the pipeline crossing the George Washington and Monongahela National Forests, and a right of way across the Appalachian Trail. The ruling quoted “The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss, saying the Forest Service is trusted to “speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.” A Dominion Energy spokesman said the company is reviewing the ruling and had no immediate comment. The natural gas pipeline would run through parts of West Virginia, North Carolina and Virginia.

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