Residents hope arctic freeze is ready to slide away

ELKINS – Local residents can only hope that French Creek Freddy doesn’t see his shadow Sunday – a sign that this year’s extra-frigid temperatures might be moving out of the area soon.

Unfortunately, the National Weather Service in Charleston is calling for temperatures to dip to zero degrees tonight, with wind chill values as low as minus 26 degrees today.

However, temperatures are expected to soar to 48 degrees Saturday, although more snow is also expected over the weekend, according to the NWS forecast. On Thursday, the high is expected to be around 34 degrees, with a low of 21.

Randolph County Superintendent of Schools Terry George said he expects school to be back in session on Thursday.

“Based on the forecast, we are hoping to have a full day of classes Thursday,” he said.

Public schools in the following counties are closed today due to the weather: Randolph, Barbour, Upshur, Tucker, Lewis and Grant. Public schools will function on a two-hour delay in the following counties: Pocahontas, Pendleton and Hardy.

In Elkins, Mayor Van Broughton said Tuesday that he is pleased with how everyone is working together to get through this tough cold snap.

“Employees in the Elkins Street Department are changing up their shifts to help keep the roads clear,” Broughton said. “We are trying to hit the intersections to get them clear and make sure hills are clear for residents to get up and down.”

Broughton said the downtown business owners are doing a great job keeping the sidewalks clear.

“With the bad weather, many residents are leaving their vehicles in their garages and drives, and taking to walking,” he said.

“It is important that sidewalks are clear so they are safe as they walk to their destinations.

“Everyone is doing their best. It is hard when temperatures are so low that salt will not melt ice and snow.”

Broughton said as days go on, crews will work to break up ice on the streets and sidewalks, and city employees will pay careful attention to the water lines to detect breaks.

“We are thinking of safety first for all the residents and workers,” Broughton said.