|GOVERNOR URGES CAUTION AMID ONGOING WINTER STORM; CALLS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT DIVISION TO “HIGH ALERT”
With a major ice storm forecast for western West Virginia continuing through today and into tomorrow, Gov. Justice took time out of his remarks on COVID-19 to urge all West Virginians to be extra cautious of the potential dangers posed by severe winter weather.
“The traffic conditions are probably not going to be great today, and could be really bad tonight. The I-64 corridor will be particularly hit hard, so we’ve got to watch that,” Gov. Justice said. “We live in West Virginia. It’s wintertime. We all know, when the roads are bad, we should absolutely take all precautions and watch what we’re doing.”
The Governor also said that, in addition to dangerous ice that could form on roadways, the storm could cause power outages and poses a risk of producing freezing temperatures.
He went on to announce that he has called upon the West Virginia Emergency Management Division to stand by on “high alert” to coordinate a potential response to this storm if the need should arise.
The West Virginia Division of Highways is also prepared for the storm, with all of the state’s salt sheds replenished and full. Snow plow drivers will be working 12-hour shifts. Where conditions call for it, roads will be pre-treated.
Crews will be on the roads before the storm hits, during the storm, and after the storm until all roads are cleared. Motorists encountering a snow plow should stay back 100 feet to give the driver space and to avoid salt that may be coming from the back of the plow.
Highways officials recommend that West Virginians avoid being on the roads when possible during icy conditions. However, all vehicles should be equipped with an emergency kit in case an emergency were to arise.
“We’ve had lots of these storms. We’ll get through it, but please be really careful,” Gov. Justice said.