ELKINS – The snow should be tapering off, but it’s going to be replaced by bitter cold for the rest of the work week, Meteorologist Nick Webb of the National Weather Service said Tuesday.
Temperatures in the area will be frozen in the single digits until Saturday, he said, and at Snowshoe, temperatures could plunge to 10 below zero.
He added that a wind chill warning remains in effect through noon today for Randolph and Pocahontas counties.
“Wind chills may reach minus 25 degrees, especially on the ridges,” Webb said. “West of those counties, wind chill advisories are in effect where wind chills could be minus 10 degrees.”
Webb said there will be some sun Wednesday morning, followed by clouds in the afternoon.
“Temperatures will struggle to make it out of the single digits,” he said. “The best bet for a break from the cold snap will be Saturday.”
First Energy representative Greg Hefner said Tuesday that homes in Pocahontas County experienced power outages.
“Right now, most counties are in great shape,” Hefner said. “A tower went out at approximately 11 a.m., and power is out to those primarily in Arbovale, Bartow and Greenbank. We expect power to be restored by about 3 p.m.”
He said cold temperatures actually reduce the chances of a power outage. Cold snow is not as heavy as wet snow and, therefore, less apt to bring down power lines.
Hefner said First Energy has staff on standby during storms so they can respond quickly.
The City of Elkins and the West Virginia Department of Highways have been working on streets and roadways in the area, and Mike Moran, District 5 engineer for the Department of Highways, said Tuesday, “Treatment is going good right now. Primary roads have been plowed and treated.”
He said crews plan to switch from salt to cinders for the overnight hours because salt loses its effectiveness in cold temperatures.
“Our equipment is holding up well, and we have plenty of materials,” Moran added. “We have a full fleet with adequate manpower, so we should be good throughout the duration of the storm.”
Bob Pingley, operations manager for Elkins, said, “Treatment went pretty good, we have most of the streets plowed.” He added, “Some of the major streets have some melting and are pretty clear. Side streets are still snow-covered.”
A city crew worked overnight in the downtown area, clearing parking lots and getting some of the snow out of the way, Pingley said. City crews use salt, so roadways in town could be slicker. “Slick conditions will be with us for a couple of days,” Pingley said. “We urge people to use caution.”
Sources Tuesday night said schools in Barbour, Randolph, Upshur, Lewis Tucker, Pocahontas, Hardy and Grant counties will be closed today.