UPDATE: Winter Weather Strikes Kanawha Valley

By: Brooks Jarosz Email
By: Brooks Jarosz Email

UPDATE: 2/11/12 @ 7:00 p.m.
KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Before the salt's spread, before cars collide, roads were made wet by the fast falling snow.

"When you see it sticking in the grass, you know it's not too long before it sticks to the road," plow driver Virgil Smith said.

Some may call it a winter wonderland, but no doubt, it made for some slick and dangerous travel.

"It's pretty bad," Charleston resident Carter Coleman said. "We tried to get on the Interstate this morning and we were sliding all over the place and couldn't get up to speed."

West Virginia Division of Highways officials say those with a lead foot cause most car crashes and fender benders.

"All of those accidents have been the result of excessive speed, or bad equipment," DOT spokesperson Brent Walker said. "I'm talking about tires. The tires we found on the vehicles that have had some problems, they have little to no tread."

As temperatures fell throughout the day Saturday, roads became slick and ice covered. Road crews continue to work around the clock to keep the streets clear and free of ice.

For those in the snow removal business, this falling snow was long overdue.

"I'm happy to see it," Andrew Wooten with Appalachian Lawn and Landscaping said. "It's been a pretty stressful winter trying to keep up with paying the bills when you're used to making good money."

With falling temperatures, however, the salt became less affective.

"Everything that was wet turned almost to like a black ice," Wooten said.

"The roads this morning are okay, it's the sidewalks that are a mess," Charleston resident David Donothan said.

The taste of winter has brought about mixed feelings.

"Today it's kind of nice to be snowy and cold for a change," Charleston resident Eileen Barker said. "But, I don't mind if we don't have anymore snow."

"I'm definitely more of a summer person," Coleman said.

But for those in the business, they say bring it on.

"I hope it keeps snowing," Wooten said. "Either that or I hope spring gets here."

Crews will be covering all of the major Interstates and corridors throughout the night.

Highway officials suggest taking it slow when there's ice and snow.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Road crews are loading up and rolling out to keep the streets clear of snow and ice.

Workers at the West Virginia DOT garage in North Charleston began attaching plows and testing salt spreaders early Friday morning.

They say they've only used about 20 percent of the overall salt supply.

For this round of winter weather, workers say they're mixing sand and salt to prevent icing over.

The temperatures will not be low enough for them to need to add liquid calcium to the mix. Division of Highways officials say that helps when the ground is frozen or temperatures are in single digits.

By the evening, crews were on 12-hour shifts -- working around the clock to keep the roads safe.

Plow drivers say they want to do all they can to keep motorists safe and also have some advice for them.

"My recommendation is if you don't absolutely have to be out, don't be out," driver Virgil Smith said. "Give us room to do our work; we're doing the best we can."

Smith added, "Everybody's in a hurry ... just slow down a little bit, take care of yourself, protect yourself and your family and let us do our jobs."

Plow drivers remind you to keep back 100 feet to avoid damage to you or your car from salt and debris kicked up from their plows.

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