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Major winter storm to pummel W.Va.

March 1 marked the beginning of Meteorological Spring, but before we reach the official start — on March 20 — Mother Nature has at least one more blast of winter ready to hit the Mountain State.

A major storm is moving across the Midwest toward West Virginia and could dump more than a foot of snow in the Eastern Panhandle, according to Accuweather.

Many northern and eastern counties are under a winter weather advisory or winter storm warning.  The storm is expected to hit Tuesday and start as rain before changing to snow Tuesday night.

Overnight Tuesday and throughout the day Wednesday, snow will pick up and hammer higher elevations and the Eastern Panhandle.

Martinsburg could pick up as much as 14 inches of snow, Accuweather says.  Morgantown is expecting four to eight inches and Preston County could receive a foot of snow.

“We’re used to it here in Preston County,” Commission President Craig Jennings said.  “A foot is nothing for us here.”

FirstEnergy officials are preparing for the storm by moving extra crews and putting workers on alert.  While he expects some problems, Todd Meyers, a spokesperson, says the storm should not cause outages as widespread as what was seen during superstorm Sandy.

“There is always concern with wet, heavy snow that can bring down branches and trees,” Meyers said.

However, the fact that trees do not have leaves and wind should not be as severe as it was during Sandy should help, Meyers said.

The storm will move into West Virginia Tuesday afternoon.

“We will have to wait to see what materializes,” Meyers said.

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