ELKINS – Although weather forecasts called for 6-8 inches of precipitation by Monday morning, Elkins and vicinity actually saw less snow fall than some other parts of the state.
Andrew Beavers, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, said the area received a tenth of an inch of ice Monday, however, making driving a challenge. He said no more snow is predicted until Friday morning.
“Record lows are a possibility Tuesday morning,” Beavers said Monday.
“Minus 7 degrees is the current record, but temperatures could dip to minus 8 degrees.”
Beavers said today and Thursday should be nice, without any precipitation in the forecast until Friday morning.
“My advice is to bundle up,” Beavers said.
On Monday, schools were closed in Barbour, Grant, Lewis, Pendleton, Hardy, Pocahontas, Randolph, Tucker and Upshur counties. Randolph County Superintendent of Schools Terry George said he was thankful the area got less snow than predicted Monday.
“We canceled school because of the condition of the highways,” George said. “With the ice freezing on the roadways, most primary roads were dangerous.”
George said he and his staff would re-evaluate the road situations before making a decision about school today.
“Unfortunately, with the low temperatures, salt is not melting the snow and ice,” George said. “With the predicted low temperature of minus 8 degrees, it’s not looking promising for Tuesday.”
On Monday, Gov, Earl Ray Tomblin asked state employees to delay reporting to work until 10:30 a.m.
However, he later issued another statement closing state government agencies “due to ice and snow accumulations as well as potentially hazardous travel conditions.”
Tomblin said state employees providing direct support relating to the current weather event needed to report to work at their regularly scheduled times.
Cindy Hart, Randolph County Office of Emergency Services director, said Randolph was extremely lucky compared to the northern part of the state.
“Right now, the DOH is trying to clear the roads, but with the temperatures, the salt is not effective,” Hart said. “Stay off the roads if you don’t need to be out, and if you are out on the roads, exercise caution.”
Hart said she urged residents to prepare for this storm with 72-hour kits and alternative heat and power sources.
“Remember to bring pets inside during cold weather,” she said.
Mike Moran, District 5 engineer for the Department of Highways, said crews are out plowing and treating the roads.
“We are fighting temperatures because the salt is not effective at low temperatures,” Moran said. “Temperatures Tuesday should be warmer and the salt should work.”
Moran said traffic was moving well on Monday with no major problems. He said his crews spent Monday putting down abrasives to help provide traction.
“When weather conditions are hazardous, avoid any unnecessary travel to give crews time to get the roads treated and plowed,” Moran said.