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Via:  TimesDispatch.com

By Rex Springston

MARK GORMUS/TIMES-DISPATCH

RICHMOND, Va. — The approaching storm could drop 4 to 8 inches of snow in the Richmond area, 16 to 24 inches in western and Northern Virginia and perhaps even an inch or two in southeastern Virginia, the National Weather Service said today.

The location and width of the line separating areas getting mostly snow from those getting mostly rain are unclear, but that line will probably run through the Richmond area.

“Richmond will be in the battle zone,“ said weather service meteorologist Wayne Albright.

Locally, the storm could begin with a mix of snow and sleet in late morning or midday Friday, perhaps switching Friday afternoon or evening to rain and sleet and possibly turning to snow for most of the day Saturday, Albright said.

The snow will be damp and heavy, meaning it could pull tree branches onto power lines and cause blackouts, Albright said.

Freezing rain, which can also cause outages, could be a problem in parts of Southside Virginia, he said.

Gov. Bob McDonnell declared a state of emergency Wednesday, making it easier for state agencies to help local governments respond to problems.

This would be Virginia’s third major winter storm of the season.

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