Rain, snow, ice all in the forecast

The Free Press WV

The sunny weather with temperatures in the 60’s that much of the state enjoyed Monday isn’t expected to stick around long. A weather system with rain, wintry mix and snow is expected to arrive in the state Tuesday.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Watch from Tuesday evening to Wednesday evening for Grant, Mineral, Pendleton, Hampshire and Hardy counties. A total snow accumulation of five inches or more is possible, meteorologists said.

A handful of other counties, including Pocahontas and Randolph, are under a Winter Weather Advisory, with the possibility of snow and ice.

Other parts of the state are expected to experience cooler conditions Tuesday with rain. Snow is possible for Wednesday.

Areas of Appalachia see up to 15 inches of snow

The Free Press WV

Snow has blanketed areas of West Virginia and Kentucky, causing slick roads, school closures and power outages.

National Weather Service meteorologist Tony Edwards early morning snow showers on Monday dropped as much as 15 inches in a narrow band stretching from central Kentucky through southern West Virginia. Edwards said outside that band, other areas of southern West Virginia saw 1-4 inches of snow.

He says most snow showers should taper off by afternoon and temperatures are expected to rise above freezing in most of West Virginia. He says the snow likely won’t stick around for long because “the March sun will melt things off pretty quick.”

Meanwhile, National Weather Service meteorologist Andrew Moulton says higher elevations of eastern Tennessee are expected to get 1-3 inches of snow.

NWS: WV had less rain than anticipated; Ohio River flooding a concern

The Free Press WV

The western part of the state is experiencing some flooding along the Ohio River, but the National Weather Service says West Virginia didn’t get as much as anticipated.

“We kind of dodged a pretty big bullet with this one,” NWS Meteorologist Tom Mazza told MetroNews Sunday.

Areas of northern and central West Virginia received about 3/4 of an inch to one inch of rain. There was about 1 1/4 inch of rainfall from Huntington to Elkins from Saturday to Sunday without much flooding.

The area that received portions of flooding was in Mason County.

A River Flooding Warning remained in effect Sunday through Wednesday night along the Ohio River in Point Pleasant.

“It’s going to take a while to crest,” Mazza said.

He said smaller streams will begin cresting and falling Sunday afternoon. Bigger rivers will continue to rise for some time after the rainfall.

“The (Ohio) is expected to rise above flood stage at that location and will crest Monday night up near 43 feet,” Mazza said.

The river was river was close to 40 feet Sunday morning.

Mazza said the state will get a short break for the start of the week, but more rain is on the way.

“A cold front is going to be followed by dryer air that will be with us later this afternoon through Tuesday then we are looking at the next system impacting the area Wednesday through Thursday,” he said.

West Virginia braces for potential flooding, other damage from predicted heavy weekend rains

Governor Justice urges citizens to use common sense, pay attention to local emergency officials
The Free Press WV

With his February 17 State of Emergency declaration still in effect for all 55 counties, Governor Jim Justice is urging his fellow West Virginians to monitor local weather conditions closely this weekend and stay prepared.

The National Weather Service has forecasted multiple rounds of heavy rains through Sunday. With the Ohio River already at higher-than-normal levels, this additional rainfall poses an extreme risk of flooding to all counties along the Ohio. The rest of West Virginia remains at some risk of flooding as well because of saturated ground conditions.

“I know West Virginia can weather this coming storm, if we all remember to use our God-given common sense,” said Governor Justice.  “I encourage everyone to pay attention to their local emergency officials. And please, do not endanger yourselves, your loved ones or our first responders by trying to drive through flood waters!”

The West Virginia Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) will activate the State Emergency Operations Center at the West Virginia Capitol by 8 p.m. Saturday. DHSEM is already coordinating with county and local emergency managers, and is prepared to field and respond to requests for resources and other assistance. The West Virginia National Guard is pre-positioning resources and personnel, including from its Swift Water Rescue team, and other agencies such as the Division of Highways are doing the same.

Governor Justice declares State of Emergency for all 55 counties

The Free Press WV

Flooding has started in multiple locations, more widespread flooding expected through the weekend

Governor Jim Justice declared a State of Emergency early Saturday for all 55 counties, after heavy rain triggered flooding in multiple locations and was expected to continue throughout the weekend.

The State Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is now on enhanced watch status and will continue to monitor the situation.

The EOC will be fully activated if necessary.

The West Virginia National Guard has also been notified and put on stand-by for potential mobilization to assist local and county emergency agencies.

Water continues to push higher

The Free Press WV

Those who live on Wheeling Island know the warning signs. It’s anticipated those warning signs are starting to be quickly triggered as the Ohio River continued coming up on Friday.

“The National Weather Service has upped our crest forecast to about 39.7 feet, that’s almost four feet over flood stage,” said Philip Stahl, Public Information Officer for the Wheeling Police and Fire Department. “That will affect a lot of Wheeling Island, parts of south Wheeling and other parts of the city.”

Authorities are preparing for a long weekend a day after heavy rains pushed smaller streams out of their banks in the rural areas of Ohio County.

“Some of the creeks are pretty swollen and high,” Stahl said. “But they’re not flooding They’re pumping some basements out, but it’s fairly minimal when you look at the whole picture.”

The crest at New Martinsville is expected to be just over 35 feet which could mean flooding in that river town as well from the Ohio.  The warnings cascaded most of Friday down the state extending into the Kanawha Valley and coalfield counties where persistent rain pushed streams up and out of their banks, leaving many roads flooded and impassable.

“The ground is so saturated we’re seeing this long duration rainfall event and it’s a slow rise we’re seeing in streams and creeks,” said Meteorologist Mike Kistner at the National Weather Service in Charleston. “We’re looking at flood warnings across the bulk of the state.”

Although there is a cold front moving into the state which could produce lower temperatures and possibly a wintry mix, there are already problems.

“We’ve had reports of numerous roads closed due to creeks being out of their banks,” said Kistner. “We expect it to continue right up until sunset.”

As usual emergency officials advise never driving through a flooded road and keeping an eye to the local media and weather service outlets to keep advised on changes as the situation warrants.

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