CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Ice and snow made for a treacherous mix on roads throughout north central West Virginia, creating what one emergency official called “a driving nightmare” Monday morning.
“We had the rain (Sunday) and then the ice pellets overnight,” said Paul Bump, director of Harrison County’s Office of Emergency Management. “So you’ve got this crunchy layer of ice underneath 5 or 6 or 7 inches of snow,” he said.
Despite the slippery conditions, intrepid motorists gave it a shot nevertheless. Many weren’t successful.
“Tractor trailers on the four-lanes are getting stuck. Cars are spinning everywhere,” said Bump. “It’s just been an interesting morning.”
The calls started to come in to the Harrison County 911 Center fast and furious about daybreak when most people were hitting the road for the morning commute and when another band of heavy snow showers moved in.
The stretch from Fairmont and Morgantown was hit hard Monday morning and more than 7 inches of snow had piled up in Marion County by 8 a.m. West Virginia University canceled classes because of the weather.
Bump stressed anyone who didn’t have to be out of the roads should stay home. But he said there’s always those drivers who have more confidence than they should.
“Just because you have a four-wheel drive and can get going real fast you cannot stop fast in this stuff. That tends to be what the issues are,” he said.
By 10 a.m. the snow had slackened, but Bump said tow truck drivers had a long road ahead tugging cars and trucks out of ditches and hauling wrecked vehicles to repair shops.