Residents makes most of snowfall

BELPRE – The first significant snowfall of 2014 brought out a number of sledders to ride down the slope at the Belpre Shriner’s Club on Saturday afternoon.

Many who were there for Saturday’s sledding said it was a Belpre tradition to go sledding on the hill, with many of them calling it the best place in the area for fun in the snow.

Belpre resident Kyle Hamrick said he and his wife brought their son out to enjoy the same thing they did in their younger years on Saturday.

“I came out here when I was a kid and now my kid who turned 3 in December gets to do it,” he said. “This the best spot in town, there is always a group up here for this.”

Steve Comiskey, of Belpre, said his whole family came out for the day, using a large inner tube to glide down the slope. He said they were looking forward to the area being lit for the night.

“The fire department will being their light truck out here and it will be a great night,” he said as the sun went down late Saturday afternoon.

Belpre resident Skylar Smith said she has ridden sleds of different types down the slope, adding the most memorable time for her was when she “face planted” at the bottom.

“When I was 5 or 6 and was riding down in a tube,” she said. “I somehow flew of of it and my face went into the snow, I face planted in the snow.”

George Rasmussen, of Belpre, said they learned about the sledding with the lights on Facebook.

“We heard they were going to light it up so we decided to come out for it,” he said Saturday afternoon.

Belpre Volunteer Fire Department Chief Eric Sinnett said this was not the first time the department provided lighting for sledding at the site.

“We brought out the rescue truck with the light tower for the kids to sleigh ride (Saturday) evening,” Sinnett said.

Providing light for the sledding is not something the volunteer fire department does all the time, but it is something they do occasionally to give the community a different look at the department, he said.

“We like for people to see us a few times when we’re not coming to their house because it’s on fire,” he said.

While the snowy weather provided fun for some, it also caused problems for others through the day. A number of events were canceled Saturday due to the weather, including the Parkersburg High School-Parkersburg South basketball game scheduled for Saturday night.

At Washington State Community College, a concert by the local group The Rain Crows scheduled for Saturday night was canceled due to the inclement weather and road conditions. The concert is part of the college’s Evergreen Arts and Humanities Series.

Among upcoming events that will not be held, the Wood County Historical and Preservation meeting scheduled for Monday has been canceled. The West Virginia 2 and Interstate 68 Authority meeting scheduled for Monday at the Brooke County Courthouse in Wellsburg, W.Va., has also been canceled because of bad weather.

Officials in Washington and Athens counties in Ohio issued Level 2 snow warnings on Saturday. Under Ohio code, the Level 2 designation means roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways.

Today’s forecast from the National Weather Service in Charleston calls for a 50 percent chance of snow, mainly before 3 p.m. The temperature is expected to reach a high near 37, but with wind chill values as low as 5 below zero and gusts of wind up to 25 mph. New snow accumulation of less than a half inch are possible.

Tonight, there is a slight chance of rain and snow before midnight, then snow likely with a low around 22. The chance of precipitation is 60 percent, with new snow accumulation of less than a half inch possible.

Monday’s forecast calls for a chance of snow showers, mainly before 10 a.m. and a high temperature near 22 degrees. before dropping to a low around -2 Monday night. Temperatures expected to remain in the teens or lower Tuesday and Wednesday before reaching the high 20s on Thursday.