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Wintry blast coming

February 4, 2014
By MARK LAW and WARREN SCOTT - Staff writers , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - The area is under a winter storm warning from this evening through 1 p.m. Wednesday as several inches of snow, sleet and freezing rain is expected overnight, the National Weather Service in Moon Township reported.

Lee Hendricks, a weather service meteorologist, said the storm will start as snow and turn to freezing rain and sleet before turning back to snow Wednesday morning.

The dividing line between all rain and a mixed bag of precipitation will be located south of the area around Marshall County.

Article Photos

EASTERN PA. SCENE — Mike Quinn uses his snowblower, to clear the sidewalks around his West Hazleton, Pa., home on Monday after a storm dumped about four inches of snow on the area. — Associated Press

"Above that will be a potpourri of winter weather," Hendricks said.

Snow and sleet accumulations will be around 3 to 5 inches, plus a tenth to a quarter of an inch of freezing rain and ice.

"There is not a lot of good news," Hendricks said.

But Hendricks said the storm will move through the area quickly.

The Tri-State Area is about 1 inch away from the seasonal average amount of snow of 43 inches. There was approximately 30 inches of snow last winter.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will have 12 crews out plowing and treating the roads throughout the storm, said Ty Justice, ODOT county manager.

ODOT has 2,500 tons of salt throughout Jefferson County, with another shipment expected today, he said.

Justice said crews today will be going over trucks and equipment to make sure everything is ready to go tonight. He said crews also have pretreated the roads to help prevent the ice and snow from sticking to the road surface.

City Manager Tim Boland said the city is prepared for the coming storm and will be monitoring supplies closely. He said major traffic routes and hills will receive salt during the storm.

Jefferson County Engineer James Branagan said the county finally got its December order of 800 tons of salt.

"I have been here for 25 years and never have run out of salt. We have been desperate during January before," he said.

Branagan said his department usually helps out townships and villages with salt but it can't do it this year because of the difficulty in getting in shipments. He said ODOT is having emergency bids this week try to get other salt suppliers.

Chuck Hartley, a maintenance assistant with the West Virginia Division of Highways' district office in Moundsville, said, "We had been running a little low but we've been able to build it (the salt supply) back up between storms."

Hartley said crews with area maintenance departments have been trying to conserve salt because of budgetary restraints, but always use salt sparingly when temperatures dip below zero, causing melted snow and ice to freeze again soon after it's melted.

He said in those instances, crews apply abrasives, such as cinders, to roadways.

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