Snow Creates a ‘Mess’

WHEELING – Ohio Valley commuters did some slipping and sliding on their way to work this morning thanks to a winter storm that dumped several inches of snow onto local roadways.

The storm also forced the closure of most local schools, including 29 of West Virginia’s 55 county schools. Some college campuses also closed, including West Virginia University’s main campus in Morgantown.

The winter storm warning was expected to last through this afternoon.

John Darnley, National Weather Service of Pittsburgh meteorologist, said the Wheeling area received 3-4 inches overnight into this morning. One weather watcher in Wetzel County, he added, reported receiving 12 inches of snow in a higher elevation.

While many main streets were cleared this morning, less traveled roads and side streets remained covered with snow that quickly piled up faster than many road crews could plow. In Wheeling, Public Works Director Russell Jebbia said his city road crews had been working all night to try and keep up with the snow. He said it takes his snow plows three hours to make one cycle across neighborhoods in the city.

“It’s just a mess out there. We couldn’t keep up with the snow coming down. It’s really slick,”Jebbia said this morning. “Now that the snow has stopped we’re throwing salt and cinders.”

Pike Street in North Wheeling was closed because it was too treacherous to use, but Jebbia said that is typical of every winter.

“In the summer, it’s a nice short cut. In the winter, it’s easier to close it than to treat it,” he said of Pike Street.

“We’ve had couple breakdowns on vehicles. We have 13 trucks out – we’ve actually taken a couple big hits over last two weeks. We’re trying keep them on the road. … We just deal with it as it comes and do the best we can.”

Jebbia said he also was keeping an eye on ice that appeared to be jamming on Wheeling Creek. At press time, the water was level with the lower end of the parking lot at the Mount de Chantal Kroger, he said.

“It’s just backing up now. We’re watching to see if it’s going to break free,” he said.

Tom Hart, Marshall County Office of Emergency Services director, said he, along with officers and volunteer firefighters, were keeping an eye on several different ice jams this morning. One of those jams came onto Fish Creek Road forcing its closure 3 miles east of W.Va. 2 between Graysville and Lynn Camp.

“We’ve been checking on ice jams yesterday, last night and early this morning,” Hart said. There are two on Little Grave Creek in Glen Dale near Sun Valley. We have two on Big Grave Creek near Moundsville. There are six ice jams on Middle Grave Creek from Maxwell Acres to the bottom of Hinerman Hill,” Hart said, adding water still was flowing underneath the ice.

Also in Marshall County, one person was injured in a two-vehicle accident on W.Va. 2 near Fish Creek Road with one of those cars flipping onto its roof, according to published reports.

Darnley noted Tuesday through Wednesday morning anywhere between a half an inch in the Marshall County area to 4 inches of snow in the Hancock County area is forecasted.