CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A winter storm with a combination of ice, sleet and snow began to paralyze parts of central and western West Virginia Thursday morning.
Appalachian Power Company reported outages to nearly 42,000 customers by 7 a.m. Thursday with those numbers expected to climb. Ice is the issue from Putnam County west through Cabell, Wayne and Mason counties.
The greater Charleston area didn’t pick up a lot of ice but freezing rain turned to snow at about 5 a.m. Thursday which created tricky driving conditions.
There were a number of wrecks on Interstate 64 between Charleston and Huntington including a tractor trailer wreck near the westbound St. Albans exit. Wrecks were also reported on Interstate 77 and Interstate 79.
FREEZING RAIN AND ACCUMULATING ICE WILL REMAIN A THREAT FROM ROUGHLY THE I-64 CORRIDOR AND POINTS SOUTH TODAY. The ice threat should gradually shift south of the Huntington to Charleston corridor by mid to late morning. Some minor snow accumulations are also possible.#wvwx pic.twitter.com/X1sVbB8R19
— WV Emergency Management (@WVEMD) February 11, 2021
Meteorologists said the icy conditions would move into the southern coalfields by mid-morning creating hazardous conditions.
A second round of precipitation was expected to roll through central and southern counties Thursday afternoon.
[6 AM Thursday] Moderate to heavy snow is currently moving east along the I-64 corridor between Huntington and Charleston. This is making already treacherous roadways, worse. Please use extreme caution if you must be on the roadways this morning. #wvwx
— NWS Charleston, WV (@NWSCharlestonWV) February 11, 2021
The Appalachian Power Company outage map at 7 a.m. showed more than 19,000 customers without service in Cabell County and nearly 9,000 customers in Wayne County with outages.
A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect through Friday morning for the Interstate 64 corridor and the highest elevations of Randolph, Pocahontas, Mineral and Grant counties.
⚠ Many roadways in Kanawha County are covered with snow and freezing temperatures remain throughout are area. Ice covered roadways under the snow is adding to the very hazardous driving conditions. Please avoid or delay travel!
— Metro 911 (@KanawhaCoAlerts) February 11, 2021
There were many changes in county school schedules Thursday.
Counties closed for the day included Berkeley, Cabell, Gilmer, Jackson, Lincoln, Pocahontas and Randolph counties while school delays were listed in Hancock and Wyoming counties.
Many counties decided on a remote schedule for the day including Barbour, Braxton, Brooke, Calhoun, Clay, Doddridge, Fayette, Greenbrier, Hampshire, Hardy, Harrison, Jefferson, Kanawha, Lewis, Logan, Marion, Marshall, Mason, Mineral, Mingo, Monongalia, Morgan, Nicholas, Ohio, Pendleton, Pleasants, Preston, Putnam, Raleigh, Roane, Taylor, Tucker, Tyler, Upshur, Wayne, Webster, Wetzel, Wirt and Wood counties.
There were some schedule changes at WVU in Morgantown while Marshall University cancelled all in-person classes at its Huntington campus Thursday.
— to wvmetronews.com