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Black Ice on Roads A Concern With Melting Snow

Photo by Shelley Hanson A snowy and slushy Main Street is shown in Center Wheeling on Tuesday.

WHEELING — Motorists should watch out for potential ice or black ice forming tonight as a new cold front moves through the area, said Lou Vargo, Ohio County Emergency Management Agency director.

Vargo said today’s higher temperatures will lead to the melting of piles of snow left behind by Sunday and Monday’s snowstorm that dumped up to 12 inches of snow in some parts of the Ohio Valley.

Though he is not sure if there will be flash flooding because the creeks are currently low, Vargo added that, as temperatures dip below freezing, snowmelt can freeze and become hazardous.

“A bigger issue is (Wednesday) night: the temperature will drop and there is the possibility of it turning to ice or black ice. Travelers should be aware of road conditions.”

Vargo noted additional snow also is forecast.

“Tonight into Thursday morning is the chance of 1 to 3 inches of additional snowfall,” he said.

“A cold front will be coming in on Thursday and will have temperatures in the single digits with windchill of zero to -15 degrees.”

Meanwhile, during the course of the snowstorm Wheeling police responded to 10 motorist assist calls and five vehicle crashes between 4 p.m. Sunday and 4 p.m. Monday, said Philip Stahl, spokesman for the Wheeling Police Department.

None of the accidents were serious, he said.

“To my knowledge, there weren’t too many challenges considering the snow fell on a holiday weekend, which already prompted schools and several businesses to be closed to observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day,” Stahl added.

“West Virginia Division of Highways and city operations worked all day to get roadways cleared. Overall, everyone was extra prepared for the snow.”

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