Governor Justice declares a state of emergency for all 55 counties ahead of the winter storm
The following is a summary of the current preparations being made by various state agencies:
West Virginia Department of Emergency Management:
“This storm will cause difficult travel, extreme cold and other hazardous conditions,” said EMD Director J.E. McCabe. “EMD is in close contact with local offices of emergency management, federal and state partners, and utility company representatives to assist and respond when assistance is needed.”
Coordinating agencies are placed on standby to support the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) if needed.
Emergency management personnel will operate a State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) with an EMD monitoring center monitoring 24/7 for changes in weather or other developments that may impact safety and immediately relay critical information to agency leaders for action.
EMD remains in contact with all county emergency management agencies.
MD He has posted non-emergency numbers for each county 911 center So our citizens may find help within their local area if they need to locate a warming station or seek other assistance.
West Virginia Department of Highways:
West Virginia Division of Highways (WVDOH) crews continue snow removal and ice control (SRIC) operations this week.
For the latest updates and information about local travel conditions throughout West Virginia, visit wv511.org. To report a snow-covered road in your area, call 833-WV-ROADS.
“We are prepared for any snow event, whether it’s an inch of snow or a foot of snow,” said Joe Buck, PE, senior area operations engineer for WVDOH. “We attack every storm with the same level of importance of having every available truck on the road, with a driver in it, a plow mounted on it, and salt in the back.”
Statewide, WVDOH has an inventory of more than 231,000 tons of salt. A typical snowplow contains 12 tons of salt, enough to treat about 100 miles of road. This equates to a 50-mile stretch of two-lane road, or about 25 miles of four-lane.
WVDOH has more than 1,000 trucks equipped with plows with salt spreading capabilities across its 10 counties. Each truck is assigned a driver for a 12-hour day shift and a 12-hour night shift, so the driver is on the road 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
All roads maintained by WVDOH fit into one of four priorities. Interstates, interstates, the National Highway System, all other roads in the United States, West Virginia, and high-traffic county roads are Priority 1 routes. Priority 2 routes are all other school bus routes not included in Priority 1. Priority 3 routes are the remaining routes Park and forest trails are not included. Priority 4 roads are park and forest roads.
Once the Priority 1 routes are deemed to be in accessible condition, WVDOH operators transition to those secondary routes in Priority 2 and 3. However, with the return of snow, WVDOH operators are returning to Priority 1 routes.
WVDOH reminds motorists to slow down in winter weather and give snowplow drivers room to work.
Weather forecast from National Weather Service:
A low pressure system is bringing snow accumulation across the area tonight into Saturday morning, with light ice possible as far north as Tug Fork overnight. Highest amounts of 8 to 12 inches will be observed across the northeastern mountains of West Virginia. Smaller amounts of 2 to 4 inches will be observed across the central Ohio River Valley and southwest Virginia.
Elsewhere, 4 to 8 inches is expected. Light ice accumulations of less than a tenth of an inch are possible across southwest Virginia and parts of southwest Virginia. Winter Storm Watches and Warnings have been issued across the region starting this evening at 7 p.m.
Another blast of Arctic air is coming right on the heels of this system, bringing very cold weather Friday night into the weekend, while snow showers continue on the slopes across parts of the lowlands and mountains. Dangerous wind chills are possible again over the weekend.
The snow is expected to melt during the next work week, with waves of low pressure leading to occasional rain starting by mid-week.
WV 511 – Road Conditions and Cameras
Non-emergency help phone numbers
National Weather Service Charleston
National Weather Service Baltimore/Washington (Eastern Panhandle)
National Weather Service Blacksburg (southeast West Virginia)
National Weather Service Pittsburgh (Northern Panhandle)