From today’s Register-Herald:
Snowy roads cause traffic mess, road closures
By Amelia A. Pridemore
Old Man Winter refused to loosen his icy grip on southern West Virginia, slamming the region with a late afternoon snow Thursday that blanketed roadways and wreaked havoc on motorists.
Snow showers with areas of blowing snow struck the region early Thursday evening, and temperatures were dropping to the single digits, according to data from the National Weather Service. Wind gusts of around 20 mph caused wind chills to dip below zero.
Emergency responders throughout the region reported chaotic evening commutes.
In Raleigh County, Tams Highway (W.Va. 16) was shut down because a tractor-trailer was stuck on a mountain, blocking both traffic lanes. Airport Road in Beaver was shut down earlier in the evening, but it was reopened by 8 p.m.
Between 4 and 8 p.m., Raleigh County authorities handled nine vehicle accidents, the EOC said. Some resulted in injuries, but no wrecks appeared to be especially large.
State Division of Highways crews were out and treating the roadways, the EOC said. As of 8 p.m., roads throughout Raleigh County were slippery.
Fayette County’s roads were “nasty,” according to a dispatcher.
“When I came in (to work), it was nasty and it’s still nasty,” she said. “(U.S.) 19 is horrible.”
Several wrecks were reported throughout Fayette County early Thursday evening, but they were all minor, the EOC said.
Nicholas County dispatchers estimated three inches of snow had fallen in Summersville, and even more had likely fallen in higher elevations at Nettie and Richwood. However, few wrecks had been reported, and most only involved cars in ditches.
Summers County emergency personnel said only one minor wreck on Interstate 64 had been reported. While snow was not piled high, road conditions remained treacherous.
“They’re covered right now. They’re white,” a dispatcher said.
A Wyoming County dispatcher simply urged motorists to stay home, even though only minor accidents were reported.
“It’s pretty bad, and we’re trying to tell people to stay off the roads,” he said.
Greenbrier and Monroe counties reported very few accidents, although some roads remained slippery.
Schools in Fayette, Nicholas, Raleigh, Summers and Wyoming counties had already announced delays as of late Thursday evening.
Note: For some odd reason, most of us are concerned about driving in icy conditions, but not truckers. Many of them, especially in West Virginia, don’t even think twice about taking to icy and snowy roads – at least not until they are stuck somewhere or have already caused or been involved in a wreck. Because of the selfishness of the trucker driving down Tams Highway in Raliegh County, both lanes had to be closed. At least nobody was hurt this time due to a tractor trailer driver’s reckless indifference to the safety of other human beings. – John H. Bryan, West Virginia Car Accident Attorney.