OHIO VALLEY— Predictions of heavy snow and hazardous weather warnings had the Ohio Valley area busy preparing for the potential of heavy snowfall on Thursday.
The National Weather Service (NWS), Charleston, W.Va. issued a winter snow warning for Mason County, W.Va. and Gallia and Meigs counties in Ohio until 8 a.m. Friday (today).
On Thursday, the NWS website predicted, “heavy snow [with] additional snow accumulations of four to nine inches. Wind chills tonight into Friday morning are likely to drop into the single digits above zero at lower elevations, and into the single digits below zero at some higher elevations.”
The West Virginia Department of Transportation’s Division of Highways office in Mason County is responsible for over 900 miles of road across the county according to Jimmy Pruett, administrator.
Pruett said those roadways consist of approximately 500 miles of blacktop and over 400 miles of gravel road. He explained the county had been preparing the roads for the storm.
“We’ve been doing a little pre-treating on the main, big hills we have problems with early, before the weather’s coming in,” Pruett said on Thursday.
Pruett said the crew has 36 people split-up, working 12-hour shifts to help clear the roads. He added, they were prepared to treat the roads with over 1,000 tons of salt and about 450 tons of cinders/chips on hand.
In a recent press release from the West Virginia Department of Transportation, Joe Pack, P.E., deputy state highway engineer of Division Operations, asked drivers to give plow trucks “a wide berth.”
“If drivers see one of our plows on the road the best thing they can do is give us lots of space,” Pack stated. “It is a dangerous activity, we are distributing material out of the truck, and it allows our driver to be able to perform their job duties.”
In addition to state crews, city and municipal workers from across Mason County were also busy braving the winter weather, working to treat local roadways within their respective jurisdictions.
© 2022, Ohio Valley Publishing, all rights reserved.
Brittany Hively is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Follow her on Twitter @britthively; reach her at (740) 446-2342 ext 2555.