CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Dozens of counties in West Virginia are under watches and warnings by the National Weather Service as a system will be moving across the state Tuesday bringing significant snow and rain.
Most of the watches and warnings go into effect Tuesday evening and last through Wednesday evening. Counties in the Eastern Panhandle and down through the mountainous region of the state and as far south as Wyoming and Raleigh counties will see snow as western counties in the state brace for rain.
Hampshire, Morgan, Berkeley, Jefferson, Hardy, Grant, Mineral, and Pendleton counties are under a Winter Storm Watch by the NWS Washington/Baltimore from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon. Five or more inches of snow is expected along with a quarter inch of ice.
Parts of Nicholas, Webster, Pocahontas, and Randolph counties are under a Winter Storm Watch from the NWS Charleston from Tuesday afternoon through Wednesday afternoon and parts are under a Winter Storm Warning where 3 to 5 inches of snow is expected with a tenth of an inch of ice possible.
Luke Mckenzie, the Mineral County Director of Emergency Services said the ice is the tricky part.
“What we will be doing is putting out some warning probably early tomorrow (Tuesday) to encourage people to stay off the roads and to check on their neighbors,” he said. “Those types of things.”
Mckenzie added they will be keeping an eye out for power outages.
“We are just going to have to watch because there are still residual effects from the last storm such as trees on lines and things like that,” he said. “We are going to have to keep our eye out to make sure we don’t have any more major power outages like that.”
Mercer, Summers, Monroe, Greenbrier, Tucker, Wyoming Raleigh, Fayette counties are all under Winter Storm Watches as well but less snow accumulation with a heavy mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain possible.
Some counties in the state will see the system a little earlier but will have warmer temperatures resulting in mostly rain. Wayne, Cabell, Mason, Jackson, Wood, Pleasants, Tyler, Lincoln, Putnam, Kanawha, Roane, Wirt, Calhoun, Ritchie, Doddridge, Mingo, Logan, Boone, Clay, Braxton, Gilmer, Lewis, Harrison, Taylor, McDowell, Upshur, and Barbour are all under a Flood Watch by the NWS Charleston.
NWS Charleston says heavy rain will overspread the area starting late Tuesday night and lasting through early Thursday morning. Rainfall amounts as high as 2 to 3 inches will be possible.
“I’ve called the other counties to see what other actions they are taking and usually I try to keep my actions on par with what they are doing,” Mckenzie said.
“We all definitely communicate. We rely on the other counties for mutual aid on the storm if necessary.”