VDOT prepares for winter after early budget hit

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - The Virginia Department of Transportation already has dipped into its $145 million snow removal budget for this year.

VDOT says it spent nearly $3.3 million to clear roads after Superstorm Sandy dumped up to two feet of snow in parts of the state last month.

Last winter, the state spent only half of its $126 million snow removal budget because the season was so mild. The balance was spent on highway maintenance.

December is starting out unseasonably warm, but VDOT is getting ready for more nasty winter weather. The agency says it has access to nearly 4,000 pieces of equipment for snow and ice control, along with 340,000 tons of salt, 95,000 tons of sand and a large supply of chemicals and treated abrasives.