Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

February 1, 2013

High water lingers

By KATE COIL and GREG JORDAN
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD — Morning commuters should beware of icy road conditions and limited visibility today as snow falls over the region.

Forecasters with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg, Va., were expecting 1 to 2 inches of snow today with a possibility of 3 inches at the highest elevations, said meteorologist Chris Matta.

“It’s going to come pretty quickly,” Matta said as he described the snowfall. “It should snow hard for 15 or 30 minutes. The best time for the hardest snow to come is between 4  and 8 a.m., which will probably impact the morning rush. With winds up to 40 mph, there could be low visibility as well as icy roads.”

Saturday’s forecast was similar to today’s weather, but not as much snow was expected, Matta said. Snow could continue from 1 p.m. Saturday until 7 a.m. Sunday. Three inches is possible.

Flooding and high water on roadways remained a problem across the region Thursday with several roads closed for public safety.

According to the Mercer County 911 dispatch, high water closed Rock Road at the intersection of Route 71 and Black Oak Road as well as roads in the Spanishburg area including Route 19. High water remained on Hales Gap Road, Big Spring Branch Road, Kale Road, Jugneck Road, Simmons River Road and on Lusk Hollow Road for much of the day.

In McDowell County, Division of Highway officials said River Road in the Yukon area as well as Three Fork Road were closed due to high water.

High water closed two roadways in Tazewell County, according to a spokesperson with Tazewell County 911 dispatch. Old Kentucky Turnpike in Cedar Bluff, Va. as well as Amonate Road at the second railway stop between Bandy Road and the West Virginia state line were both closed. Other roadways in the county remained open but still experienced flooding, including a portion of Route 16 known as Mudfork/Deerfield Lane, Davis Lane in Doran, Route 19 near the Smyth County border, Thompson Valley Road, Baptist Valley Road, Maiden Springs Road, Kirby Road, Red Ash Camp Road, Falls Mills Road, and Yards Road.

In Richlands, city police dispatchers reported Thursday afternoon that several streets had high water. They included River Road, Allegheny Road, Page Street, Prater Drive, Shenandoah Street and East First Street.

Richlands Police Chief F.L. Dorton said some residences were evacuated when the Clinch River crested at 3 a.m. Thursday, reaching 12.5 feet. People started returning to their homes as the water receded.

“We still do have a lot of areas closed as the water recedes,” Dorton said. “Allegheny Street is complete blocked. Some of River Road and most of the roads running parallel to the Clinch River had some kind of standing water and are closed. We are advising people just to avoid standing water. With the water as high as it is, you cannot tell how deep or how fast moving that standing water might be.”

In Giles County, VDOT is reported flooding conditions on Route 623 also known as Rye Hollow Road, Old Wolf Creek Road, Trivett Farm Lane, Ripplemead Road, Big Stony Creek Road, Lurich Road, Morehead Road, Patterson Ford Road, Old Furnace Road, Brickyard Road, and Big Rock Road throughout the day.

Flooding issues also persisted in areas of Monroe County, according to a spokesperson with the West Virginia State Police Union detachment. Water was reported in roadways including Route 219 near Rock Camp as well as around Union and the Greenville areas.

— Contact Kate Coil at kcoil@bdtonline.com