Wintry weather closes area schools

PARKERSBURG – The threat of snow and ice Friday gave local students an early jump on the weekend.

Schools throughout the region closed Friday morning after forecasters warned of a steady mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain throughout the day. By noon the snow had begun to fall, coating roads and causing accidents throughout the area.

In West Virginia, school systems in Calhoun, Pleasants, Ritchie, Taylor, Wirt and Wood counties were closed Friday. Doddridge County Schools called for a two-hour delay.

In Ohio, Belpre and Marietta city schools, as well as Fort Frye, Frontier, Warren and Wolf Creek local schools were closed.

West Virginia University at Parkersburg called for a two-hour delay Friday morning, but shortly before 9 a.m. canceled classes for the day.

Though roads were relatively clear Friday morning, officials said they were anticipating a steady decline in conditions throughout the day. The National Weather Service in Charleston issued a winter weather advisory, warning roads could be covered by a mix of snow and ice by the end of the work day and into the evening hours, with untreated roads and overpasses quickly icing over. The projected high was 27 degrees.

“It could make it difficult to get our kids back home,” said Sue Woodward, assistant superintendent of school services for Wood County Schools. “We are basing our decision on the forecast from the National Weather Service.”

The school system also was closed Thursday due to snow and ice. Woodward said some back roads within the county still had not thawed or had refrozen overnight.

“Our back roads are still, while not snow-covered, but ice-covered,” she said.

The school system has, in the past, decided to hold classes only to find returning students home to be dangerous.

“We don’t want to do that again.” Woodward said. “If we erred (Friday), we erred on the side of safety for students.”