CHARLESTON, W.Va. — More bitter cold was expected for much of West Virginia on Wednesday after heavy snow blanketed the state.

Photo courtesy of DOH

Trucks moved in and out of Division of Highways facilities continuously Tuesday as parts of West Virginia received eight inches of snow.

Rounds of snow from a system that also pounded New York, Philadelphia and Boston first moved through West Virginia.

According to reports to MetroNews, the storm put down four inches of snow in West Virginia’s Ohio River Valley, 5 inches or more in North Central West Virginia and more than 8 inches in portions of Pocahontas County and Randolph County.

The snow started in the early morning hours Tuesday and continued through much of the day.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service said snow was falling at a rate of more than one inch per hour in parts of the Southern Coalfields and Eastern Mountains.

With that kind of pace, crews with the state Division of Highways struggled to keep roads clear.

“This is probably the worst snow that we’ve seen, statewide. I mean, we’re talking anywhere from two to eight-plus inches in some places,” said Carrie Bly, spokesperson for the Division of Highways.

Sections of Interstate 79, Interstate 77 and Interstate 64 were closed to traffic intermittently Tuesday afternoon and evening to give the plows and salt trucks time and room to adequately treat the main roads.

Many secondary roads remained ice-covered amid white-out conditions.

“We’ve had accidents happening and vehicles (drivers) that just couldn’t see, so they thought they were pulling over off the road and they weren’t and they were actually pulling onto exit ramps,” said Bly.

Dropping temperatures also complicated matters. “It’s never good when we have snow or ice on the roads and then we have a wind chill advisory because that’s just another challenge,” said Bly. “That’s ice, which is even more difficult for us to battle than snow.”

A Winter Storm Warning for much of West Virginia was lifted late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning, leaving wind chill warnings and advisories for many parts of West Virginia.

The forecast was calling for sub-zero or single-digit temperatures by dawn, with wind chills predicted to be much lower.

“That’s when the salt and stuff they put on the road, that’s when they’re least effective,” said Faith Borden, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

By Tuesday evening, dozens of county school systems had already canceled classes for Wednesday.

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  • JoeP

    Back in the day before 24/7 media coverage hyped up every burst of flurries, we had a term for snow, bitter cold and slick roads. Winter.

  • WV Man

    Rt. 33 east of Elkins in good condition yesterday evening. More snow last night though. Minus 2 degrees this AM.

  • Elizabeth

    We have to go to a funeral to Great Falks , VA. We plan to go 64 to 81 and then to 66. Are they clear, or do you think 64 to 79 to 68 would be better?

    • Jonny D

      I wouldnt suggest taking 68. It is very tough travel from just outside Morgantown all the way to Hagerstown. Im not familiar with 81 but it can't be worse than 68. Hope this helps.

  • leroy j gibbs

    I would like to know if there has been cutbacks in the doh since the 1980s because they kept the road clean a lot better than they do now. They seem to handle the interstates and secondary roads back then.I have yet to see any doh truck anywhere today

    • Desperate

      The DOH is losing drivers to the oil and gas industry.

    • Why

      Mattox and Manchin cut the salt way back. They do not pre-treat a road. Not to mention some of the lazy operators. Not the majority but some and other operators will agree with that. And of course Tomblin maintains the status quo as usual.