MECCA 911 Director Smith urges caution as clearing efforts continue

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – As of 9 a.m. Monday the National Weather Service says the Morgantown area received 3 inches of snow and about a tenth of an inch of ice. The wintery mix started Sunday afternoon around three and changed to snow as night fell.

On WAJR’s Talk of the Town, MECCA 911 Director Jim Smith said it has been relatively quiet since the beginning of winter storm Izzy.

“We’ve only had reports of about 15 accidents, eight motorist assists, now we have had several calla where people have fallen and need assistance from EMS,” Smith said.

The Martin Luther King Day holiday, timing of the storm allowed highway crews time to prepare and pretreat, but also reduced traffic for what would have been a morning commute, including school buses.

“This event was well advertised,” Smith said. ” People knew it, people prepared for it and people just planned on staying home during the storm.”

As of noon, most roads are still snow covered, slick and hazardous. Interstates range from wet to slick in spots, but passable.

“Our roads are still snow covered, they are still very slick,” Smith said. ” I would not recommend going out just yet.”

According to Smith, they provided emergency radios to DOH crews working in the region so they could assist where needed.

“So they could monitor emergency traffic going on,” Smith said.” That way, they could respond even quicker if they heard an emergency call going out.”

Forecasters said wind gusts could exceed 30-miles-per-hour this afternoon and that could impede efforts to clear roads. High winds cause plow drivers to return to areas instead of moving on to secondary roads.

“We’re starting to see the 25-mile-per-hour wind come through, so that’s going to continue to keep the roads very icy at this point,” Smith said. “So, if people don’t need to be out today we’re asking them to please stay home- another 24-hours would be nice.”

The most recent weather forecast shows a cold front moving into the area by mid-week sending low temperatures into single digits by Thursday night with high temperatures remaining below the freezing mark.