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Northam declares state of emergency ahead of tonight's storm; 2-4 inches expected locally

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Snow at Minnieville Road

Motorists make their way up Minnieville Road Monday morning, where road conditions deteriorated quickly amid heavy snowfall. Officials are urging motorists to stay off the road Thursday night.

Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park are expected to get another 2 to 4 inches of snow -- and possibly as much as 6 inches -- in another round of wintery weather overnight.

The snow is expected to begin falling around 11 p.m. in the the area, with the heaviest snow starting to fall around 1 a.m., according to the National Weather Service.

Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency ahead of the storm on Wednesday night, a move he was criticized for not taking before Monday's snowstorm, which blanketed parts of the county in as much as 12 inches.

In a statement, Northam cited the extra resources that would likely be needed to deal with another storm coming so quickly, especially with thousands of Virginians still without power.

“While we typically have ample resources for snow storms, these back-to-back events will generate landmark winter weather that requires extra flexibility,” Northam said in a statement Wednesday.

A winter weather advisory is in effect for Prince William County from 9 p.m. Jan. 6 to 5 a.m. Jan. 7. 

The heaviest snow is expected between 1 a.m and 4 a.m. when snowfall rates of 1 inch per hour are possible, the advisory states.

The Virginia State Police is once again urging Virginians to avoid traveling while roads are hazardous and visibility is compromised.

The state police is ready for the storm, said Major R.C. Maxey, Jr., deputy director of the Virginia State Police bureau of field operations.

"We will have all available troopers on patrol in order to respond as quickly as possible to traffic crashes, emergencies and disabled motorists. We will extend shifts, call out additional troopers, and redirect resources when and where needed, just as we did earlier this week," Maxey said in a statement. 

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this report incorrectly said snow is expected to begin falling at 1 a.m. That is not accurate. Snow is forecast to begin falling at 11 p.m. Thursday with the heaviest snow forecast around 1 a.m. Friday, according to the National Weather Service.

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