Snow keeps police, city crews busy

PARKERSBURG – Law enforcement officers responded to several traffic accidents Wednesday night as snow blanketed the Parkersburg area.

Officials across the Mid-Ohio Valley said traffic accidents Wednesday night were likely caused by wet, slick road conditions.

A dispatcher with the Marietta Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said officers were called to four crashes since about 6 p.m. Wednesday. Details of the accidents were not immediately available, but the dispatcher said they occurred after snow began to fall.

Troopers with the West Virginia State Police in Parkersburg responded to at least one traffic accident during the snowstorm. However, officers said they were not sure road conditions contributed to the accident.

Athens County Sheriff Pat Kelly placed the Ohio county on a level one snow emergency Wednesday around 10 p.m. because of cold temperatures and icy road conditions. He said the communications center reported multiple vehicle accidents caused by slick roads.

The Parkersburg Police Department said officers responded to three traffic accidents from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. Lt. Scott Elliott with the Parkersburg police said he could not speculate on the causes of the accidents, only that they occurred after the snow began.

Parkersburg Public Works Director Rick Lemley said city crews were out Wednesday night treating roads with salt.

“We’re out right now treating the main arteries (of the city) and the hills,” he said Wednesday night.

Earlier Wednesday, Parkersburg Mayor Bob Newell said the city’s salt trucks were ready and aware of the impending weather.

“Trucks are set up with the spreaders and full of salt,” he said Wednesday. “Once it starts appearing (snow) will be hazardous on pavement and (supervisors) will put the crews out.”

Newell said workers start with the city’s bridges and hills.

Liz Sommerville, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, said the Mid-Ohio Valley will see several storms come through the area today and Friday from the Great Lakes region.

Friday’s storm is expected to bring a little over an inch of snow, possibly an inch and a half, she said. Wednesday night’s storm was expected to drop one to two inches of snow on the valley.

Winds are not a factor in either storm and will be about 5 to 8 miles per hour, she said. Power outages can be anticipated with the snow accumulations, Sommerville said.

Weather officials said temperatures today will be in the low to mid 20s.