Highway crews gearing up for more possible winter weather

The West Virginia Division of Highways said snow and ice removal crews in all 55 counties are preparing for another round of winter weather Wednesday night.

“This time of year, we mount our plows on our trucks and keep them mounted,” said Joe Pack, P.E., WVDOH Deputy State Highway Engineer for Division Operations. “We stay ready every day. Our plows are mounted, we’ve replenished salt supplies and our crews are ready to tackle another storm.”

According to the National Weather Service’s office in Charleston, plunging temperatures overnight could result in ice, snow and dense fog.

“Wet conditions from rain and snow melt Wednesday will likely freeze as colder air moves in overnight,” the NWS says in their hazardous weather outlook. “In addition, new snow accumulations are expected Wednesday night which may impact the Thursday morning commute.”

Snowfall is expected to be light in central West Virginia.

“Rain changes to snow tonight as a cold front brings a sharp drop in temperature,” the NWS says. “Snowfall amounts should average in the 1- to 3-inch range for most areas. The sharp drop in temperature will cause a quick freeze-up of any water on roads and the snow on top will create hazardous travel conditions before and during the Thursday morning commute.”

Bitterly cold temperatures are expected through the weekend, with highs in the 20s and lows dropping into single digits.

“A very cold air mass will bring overnight lows into the single digits and teens with colder wind chills below zero along the highest ridge tops,” the NWS predicts.

The W.Va. Department of Highways says school bus routes and hospital access are priorities when clearing roads.

“Counties also have snow removal and ice clearance plans in place, with two-lane roads connecting communities, school bus routes, and roads to hospitals and doctors’ office receiving top priority,” a press release reads. “On the county level, snowplow drivers are responsible for a specific stretch of highway.”

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