CHARLESTON, W.Va. – West Virginia is taking a pounding from a snowstorm that originally was supposed to stretch from the coalfield counties to the eastern panhandle. But the storm tracked further west than forecasted, covering most of the state with several inches of snow.
Tucker County received 14 inches of snow overnight and it just kept falling throughout the day.
“Everything is white! Absolutely everything is white,” described Bill Smith, with the Tucker County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “There’s 14 to 16 inches on the ground and drifts of 4 to 5 feet. It’s covered with snow!”
In Hardy County, more of the same, where 16 inches had fallen as of Thursday morning and Office of Emergency Management Director Paul Lewis said residents were prepared for even more.
“It looks like one storm is pretty well past us but there’s another batch of weather coming behind it,” said Lewis. “We could be at 2 feet or better by the time this is over.”
Margaret Agee, the director of the Raleigh County Office of Emergency Services, said her trip into work Thursday wasn’t fun, even in a 4-wheel drive. As for those in small vehicles, she said forget about it.
“People in passenger cars, low-sitting vehicles, it wouldn’t even pay you to get out on the road because in areas it’s up past the bumper,” Agee said.
In fact, she echoed what most emergency responders are telling folks: “Don’t get out on these roads unless you have an emergency!”
Smith said on his way in Thursday, he played good Samaritan.
“I pulled a young girl, in a small sedan, out of a ditch,” he laughed. “That’s why I’m late!”
Agee said at this point, the snow is coming down too fast to keep up with it.
“The (DOH) is out there and working very hard, but by the time they get one section of an area done and try to get to another section, the area they just got done is snow covered again,” Agee said.
The snow is keeping a lot of people at home. However, Smith is hoping that the road conditions improve by Friday, the start of a long President’s Day weekend on the slopes.
“My closest guess is that they’re going to get this pretty much cleared off and it will just be left on the ground for some absolutely epic ski conditions,” said Smith.
According to the National Weather Service out of Charleston, we’ll see snow showers off and on through the weekend.