PARKERSBURG - A day of snowfall clogged roads, slowed traffic and closed schools for a second day Friday in the Mid-Ohio Valley.
In Ohio, the Washington County Sheriff's Office announced Friday afternoon the county was under a Level 2 snow emergency. Roads were hazardous with blowing and drifting snow, with the sheriff's office advising people who didn't have to be on the roads to stay home.
Athens County was at Level 1 on Friday afternoon before canceling the snow emergency early in the evening.
Vehicles slowly make their way down a snowy Fifth Street in Parkersburg Friday afternoon. A midday snowstorm made travel difficult for many drivers as roads became slick with snow and ice. Officials reported numerous accidents, from fender-benders to cars hitting trees and guardrails. (Photo by Michael Erb)
The National Weather Service in Charleston issued a winter weather advisory for the Parkersburg area Friday morning that ran through Friday evening. The advisory meant that periods of snow would cause travel difficulties and motorists were urged to be prepared for snow-covered roads and limited visibility.
Local emergency personnel scrambled throughout the day on Friday to cover nearly 50 traffic accidents, mostly fender benders and vehicles in ditches because of icy road conditions. Conditions on Interstate 77 were especially bad, with several vehicles reportedly sliding off the road and into ditches or guardrails.
On Farrow Hill Road near Davisville, a vehicle went over an embankment and was kept from sliding down the hill after it wedged against a tree, Wood County officials said. Emergency responders removed a woman and two children safely out of the vehicle, but firefighters and a tow truck had a difficult time reaching the wreck, according to officials.
Local officials reported being busy through much of Friday morning as the heavy snow continued to fall, but the situation was calming by mid-afternoon as the street and highway departments got roads plowed and treated.
Wood County Sheriff's Department, Eastwood Volunteer Fire Department and Camden-Clark Ambulance responded to an accident involving a tractor-trailer and car about 6:30 p.m. Friday on I-77 southbound just north of the U.S. 50 exit, said officials at the Wood County 911 Center.
Minor injuries were reported with one person being transferred to Camden Clark Medical Center. Sheriff's officials could not be reached for further details.
The snow started in Marietta later in the morning, and didn't reach the New Matamoras area until early afternoon. Calvin Becker, Washington County highway superintendent, said he thinks the timing of this storm made dealing with it easier.
"The timing seemed to be good for us because there weren't as many people on the roads," Becker said. "We were waiting for it and able to get out there and treat the roads."
The inclement weather virtually wiped out the local high school sports events planned on Friday.
The W.Va. Duals Wrestling Tournament, a two-day event conducted at Memorial Fieldhouse, saw 14 of the original 16 teams make the trip to Parkersburg, where the first four rounds were conducted Friday evening. Only Woodrow Wilson High School of Beckley and George Washington High School of Charleston elected not to participate. The tournament concludes today.
The basketball schedule wasn't nearly as fortunate as the only game in the Mid-Ohio Valley pitted the Williamstown girls at Parkersburg Catholic.
Games that have been rescheduled include the Wirt County at Calhoun County boys basketball game, which will take place on Feb. 4, and the Ravenswood at Point Pleasant boys game set for Feb. 16.
The boys basketball teams from Hannan and Paden City were unable to play their game in the Hometown Invitational Tournament, but have not rescheduled it. Ditto for the boys game pitting Williamstown at Gilmer County.
According to the weather service, today's forecast calls for a chance of snow showers, mainly before 10 a.m., with cloudy conditions and a high near 30. Tonight will be mostly cloudy with a low around 12 degrees.
There is a 30 percent chance of snow Sunday evening before temperatures warm up, according to the National Weather Service.