Sunday flurries chill MOV

PARKERSBURG – A series of snow flurries passing through the Mid-Ohio Valley on Sunday morning and afternoon caused roads to become snow-covered and slippery once again, causing a number of minor accidents and other weather-related issues.

The snowfall – which ranged from 2-4 inches – covered area roads quickly and resulted in a number of minor accidents in the early afternoon, but Wood County 911 officials said the situation had settled down by Sunday evening and reported no further roadway issues Sunday night.

The sheriff’s offices in Washington and Athens counties both issued snow advisories on Sunday, indicating that roadways in those counties were hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Motorists were urged to use caution.

As of Sunday evening, Morgan County, Federal Hocking, Fort Frye, Marietta City, Warren Local Schools and the Washington County Career Center in Ohio had announced the closing of school for today, as did Tyler County in West Virginia.

Two-hour delays were announced by Belpre City, Eastern Local, Meigs Local, Frontier Local and Wolf Creek Local Schools in Ohio and by Wood, Pleasants, Ritchie and Wetzel counties and Parkersburg Catholic elementary and high school in West Virginia.

One event canceled Sunday due to inclement weather conditions was the College Goal Sunday program at Washington State Community College in Marietta.

Since WSCC is a partner with the Ohio Association of Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA), there is no official make-up date for this event, said Claudia Owens, executive director of marketing and public relations at the college. However, due to the importance of the FAFSA to the college process, she said WSCC would still like to help the community. In the coming week or two, the college would like to offer a make-up session at a yet to be determined date and time and will announce more specifics this week, she said.

Those wishing a one-on-one session can contact the WSCC Financial Aid Office at (740) 374-8716 to make an individual appointment, Owens said.

The snow on Sunday caught some local residents by surprise.

“We weren’t really ready – I thought most of the snow was over. I’m getting pretty tired of it,” said Marietta resident Alice Lightfritz as she helped grandson Jordan Lightfritz shovel snow off the sidewalk in front of her South Sixth Street home.

“I have family who live up north, and they’re used to this, so it’s not a big problem when they get snow,” she said. “But we can’t even find a bag of salt here. I went to four different places Saturday and couldn’t find anything except some water softener salt at Apex True Value.”

Apex employees confirmed that the Greene Street store had been out of sidewalk salt for nearly two weeks, although they were trying to order more. Meanwhile some people were buying water softener salt to help keep ice from freezing on steps and sidewalks.

Jim Harlow, at Tractor Supply in the Frontier Center in Marietta, said salt has been in very short supply for the last week-and-a-half as cities and counties across the nation have been using more of the material than normal due to this winter’s cold and snowy weather.

“Obviously the municipalities and counties have a higher priority for ice and snow removal than someone who needs salt to put on their front steps,” he said. “We had some extra water softener salt that could be used on walkways, but we sold out of that Saturday.”

Waterford resident Gary Streight drove Ohio 60 into Marietta on Sunday.

“It was very slick and nasty during the morning,” he said. “We were only driving about 35 miles per hour, but were still sliding through a lot of curves.”

Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks said the county engineer’s office reported plenty of road salt would be available for surface treatment on the weekend. The same was true for the city of Marietta, according to streets superintendent Todd Stockel.

“They were forecasting an inch or less of snow Sunday, but I’d say we’ve had 2 to 3 inches in town,” Stockel said. “We have five trucks out running with plows, and our salt supply is OK. We’ll have another 300 tons coming in which will give us about 400 tons by (tonight).”

The National Weather Service in Charleston said today’s forecast will be partly sunny, with a high near 25, becoming mostly clear tonight with a low of 6 degrees. Conditions will be sunny Tuesday, although temperatures will remain in the 20s during the day before dropping into the single digits Tuesday night.

Wednesday’s temperature could reach just above freezing at 33 degrees and rise again on Thursday to 40 degrees. A 30 percent chance of precipitation is forecast for Friday with a chance of rain or snow going into the weekend.