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Bad weather could hit WV, but it won't be as wicked as to the west

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The low-pressure system that caused a blizzard over the Midwest was headed east over West Virginia, but wasn't expected to wreak nearly the havoc caused to the west.

Nick Webb, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, said the low-pressure system was beginning to make its way east toward the Northeast Wednesday evening. The storm caused headaches for holiday travelers, power outages and the death of six people in the Midwest.

Webb said the Mountain State wouldn't see nearly the damage caused by the storm to the west.

It was raining in the Charleston-Huntington metro areas Wednesday afternoon but Beckley and Parkersburg were starting to see snow.

"We've got our snow dome up," Webb joked. "It's snowing all around Charleston and Huntington today. Huntington and Charleston may switch over to light snow later this evening before it tapers off."

He said snow began falling in Beckley in late afternoon but because temperatures remained above freezing there was no real accumulation as of that evening.

High winds and ice in the southeastern counties caused more than a few power outages. According to Appalachian Power's website reported 4,460 customers without power in Greenbrier, Fayette, Mercer, Raleigh and Wyoming counties.

Fayette County had the most without power with 2,810 customers in the dark. Wyoming County had 610 customers without service.  

Appalachian Power posted "early wind gusts & icing causing outages," to its Twitter account Wednesday afternoon. "If no more damage, 95% should be restored no later than (tomorrow) night."

The company shifted local crews from unaffected areas and secured workers from Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee to help locally based employees and contractors. A spokesman for Appalachian Power could not be immediately reached.

Webb said the eastern portions of Fayette and Greenbrier counties saw wind gusts Wednesday between 40 and 50 miles per hour.

"Knocked down some trees out there," Webb said. "Pocahontas County saw some ice, too."

The meteorologist said most of the roads were fine Wednesday evening "until you get into the mountains up in Randolph, Pocahontas and Nicholas."

Icy roads were reported in those areas he said.

He said temperatures were expected to drop below freezing Wednesday night which could mean a more cautious morning commute if the roads still were wet.

While there were no major systems on the horizon, Webb said snow still was likely for the remainder of the week.

A snowy mix was expected Thursday for the Charleston area with highs near 34. Friday's forecast is partly sunny with highs in the low 40s but a wintry mix of rain and snow was expected overnight into Saturday, which looked to be cloudy with more rain and snow. The weather service said a 1/4 of an inch of snow was possible.

Putnam and Jackson counties would see snow showers and freezing drizzle this morning but a clear evening. Friday would bring a little sunshine with highs around 41 degrees. Rain and snow were expected overnight into Saturday, which would be cloudy with a rainy-snowy mix.

Snow showers and freezing drizzle were expected to greet commuters in Beckley Thursday morning. About a half an inch of snow was expected to fall in Raleigh County. More snow and freezing drizzle was expected Thursday evening.

Friday could be sunny but Saturday is forecast as cloudy with snow and rainfall most of the day and highs in the high 30s.

Contact writer Ashley B. Craig at or 304-348-4850.


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