Only a handful of West Virginia counties received snow Thursday but the strong southern storm left behind treacherous road conditions and residents faced with digging out on Friday.
It was a quick blast of winter for southeastern counties as Mercer, Summers, Monroe and Greenbrier were hardest hit.
By 9 p.m. a dispatcher with the West Virginia Parkways Authority reported the 88-mile Turnpike was dry on the northern end and from Beckley to Princeton the highway was treated and wet.
Parkways snow crews helped the state Division of Highways treat the rest of I-77, the nine miles from Princeton to Bluefield, but traffic was still slow moving Thursday night because of a previous back-up. Some motorists sat in stopped traffic near the Athens exit for much of the evening because of problems further south.
Hotels and motels around the Princeton area filled up quickly with stranded motorists.
Drivers were running into more problems once they got into Virginia on Interstate 77. The snow forced the closure of all four lanes in Bland County and shelters were opened for the night.
Beckley only picked up a few inches of snow and Lewisburg had approximately four inches by Thursday night. Reports indicated the Bluefield-Princeton area was harder hit along with sections of southern Monroe County.
Mercer County announced at shortly after 8 p.m. there would be no school Friday,
The National Weather Service had predicted a quick moving southern storm.
“There was a stationary boundary across our area for the last couple of days that kept us largely in clouds across the Mountain State,” said National Weather Service meteorologist Tim Axford.
On Thursday, that boundary started moving. “We’ve got enough cold air in place that Southern West Virginia’s going to get some snow,” Axford said Thursday morning.