Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving travelers could face winter weather

By ANNE ELGIN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Holiday travelers could face hazardous winter conditions today as they head for their Thanksgiving destination.

A winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., remains in effect until tonight.

The region could see between 4 to 6 inches of snow in the early morning hours, according to meteorologist Mike Sporer.

“The snow will start off wet, but as cold air moves in the snow will become a dryer snow,” Sporer said. “Also the wind will be a problem, blowing snow around and also there is potential for snow drifts.”

Highway crews are preparing for a significant winter storm.

“We will be putting salt down when it starts to snow, but haven’t done any pre-treatment because of all the rain,” Michelle Earl, spokesperson with the Virginia Department of Transportation said.

Earl said crews are out monitoring conditions and will be prepared to plow once the snow begins falling today.

“The best tip we can give travelers is to leave ample distance behind the snow plow. If you can postpone travel, we ask that you do until weather conditions are better. If you have to be out on the roads, check conditions before you leave,” Earl said

A lot cannot be done right now, but once it starts snowing, highway crews will begin to plow, Tom Camden, District 10 administrator for the West Virginia Department of Highways, said.

 “We have two shifts running day and night and plan on keeping that in place until everything is clear,” Camden said.

Plows will be working around the clock to keep roads safe.

“U.S. routes, interstates, and other main roadways will be cleared first and then we will start plowing secondary roads,” Camden said.

If travel plans cannot be put on hold, motorists should use common sense and be prepared, Camden said.

“If you have a chance, give a word of thanks to our guys; they are working hard to keep the roads clear,” Camden said.

— Contact Anne Elgin at aelgin@bdtonline.com