Swift winter storm socks northern West Virginia

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. A late blast of winter caused multiple traffic problems in Marion and Monongalia counties Tuesday morning. According to MetroNews Accuweather, snowfall totals ranged from a dusting in Monongalia County to as much as three inches along the Maryland border.

On WAJR’s “Talk of the Town,” MECCA 911 Executive Director Jim Smith reported three single vehicle accidents with no injuries and a report of a truck stuck on Route 19 in southern Monongalia County. Smith said there were no reports of trees and limbs down as a result of the storm.

“We did have a report of two single-vehicle accidents around the 143 and 146 mile markers this morning, but they were single-vehicle accidents,” Smith said.

Smith said the epicenter of traffic problems during the morning commute was at the Marion/Monongalia County line. A combination of accidents and slick road conditions forced a closure from about 7:30 to 9:50 a.m.

“Smithtown Road reported very heavy traffic and was a little icy this morning, but there were no reports of any accidents there,” Smith said. “That heavy traffic was caused by I-79 being closed and people taking an alternate route.”

Marion County 911 confirmed there were more than thirty calls dispatched during the Tuesday morning commute.

Marion Schools Superintendent Dr. Donna Heston said there were two incidents involving their buses. One bus reported a flat tire on Bunners Ridge, but no students were onboard and the bus never left the roadway.

“We did have a bus in the Farmington area that was avoiding a sliding motorist, and he got off on the soft spot off of the road there,” Dr. Heston said. “He did not go in the ditch, and there were not any students on that bus.”

Another bus, operated by a private organization, did slide into the ditch on Colfax Road, but Marion County 911 confirmed there were no injuries.

Heston said the timing of the storm was quite frustrating for her team. She explained the decision to hold school was made when weather conditions were manageable, but after buses were on the road, wintry precipitation hit.

“We were looking at things as early as 4:30 a.m.,” Dr. Heston said. “Speaking with the team that monitors that and debriefing, it really was the timing of the storm.”

Heston acknowledged that some parents may have kept students home for weather-related safety reasons, and those parents will be required to complete a form on the school’s webpage.