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West Virginia Division of Highways is preparing for weekend weather

CHARLESTON, WV – West Virginia Division of Highways snowplow crews are out on the roads and clearing snow that is expected to last into the coming weekend.

Snow was forecast throughout the day Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, and into the morning hours of Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022. The National Weather Service predicted one to two inches of total snow accumulation in low-lying regions of the state, and two to four inches in the mountains.

Snow Removal and Ice Control (SRIC) crews are ready to work around the clock to keep the state’s interstates and highways clear.

“Our crews are out from the first flake until the last road is clear,” said Joe Pack, P.E., Deputy State Highway Engineer for Division Operations. “We’re fully prepared, and our salt stockpiles are in good shape, even after recent snowstorms.”

Between them, West Virginia’s 10 highway districts have 1,100 snowplows of various sizes to cover West Virginia’s 37,000 miles of roadway. Some are dedicated to keeping the state’s interstates clear, while others cover US highways, state routes and secondary roads. Another 35 snowplows are responsible for snow and ice removal on the West Virginia Turnpike.

“We’ll have all crews out and backups on standby,” said Jeff Miller, executive director of the West Virginia Parkways Authority.

The Division of Highways keeps a stockpile of about 180,000 tons of salt on hand to treat roads, or enough to fill about 180 railroad cars. As SRIC crews use salt that stockpile is being constantly replenished.

Highway districts throughout the state pre-treated roads with salt brine on Thursday, Jan. 27, 2022, in anticipation of the coming snow. In the Kanawha Valley all interstates, US 119 and parts of US 35 were pre-treated.
“So far, it’s working,” said District 1 Manager Arlie Matney. “Everything is just wet.”

Temperatures were expected to hover around freezing throughout the day and into the night on Friday, Jan. 28, 2022, with the mercury expected to drop into the single digits the morning of Saturday, Jan. 29, 2022.

Snow appeared to be tapering off in the Northern Panhandle on Friday afternoon. In mountainous counties like Pocahontas, Pendleton, Randolph and Tucker, forecasters were calling for two to four inches of accumulation, or maybe a little more at the highest elevations.

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