Region fighting the snow

STEUBENVILLE – Area residents began to clean up approximately 4 inches of snow this morning following a day of minor accidents, snow covered roads and a real taste of winter weather.

Steubenville Street Department Superintendent Bob Baird said he had 15 trucks plowing main streets during the height of the Friday snowstorm.

“We were slowed down a bit because of the normal traffic on our city streets. But the street department, along with employees and trucks from the recreation department, water department and wastewater department worked together all day Friday and through the night to maintain our streets and then to clean them up,” explained Baird.

“We also have employees without commercial driver’s licenses driving the small trucks to clean streets,” added Baird.

“We knew when the snow tapered off Friday afternoon and the traffic eased we would catch up with our streets. We are now in our clean-up effort today. But the cold temperatures are limiting the effectiveness of the salt on the streets,” noted Baird.

“We’ve had a few accidents and disabled vehicles here and there, but nothing major,” said Capt. Ken Anderson of the Steubenville Police Department.

Eleven Ohio Department of Transportation plow trucks worked around the clock spreading salt mixed with liquid chloride Friday.

According to Rick Hunsicker ODOT Jefferson County manager, “the calcium chloride activates the salt material.”

“Our crews are working 12-hour shifts and we will stay on that schedule until all of our roads and highways are clear. While the snow was coming down hard Friday, our truck drivers were making their rounds and by the time they had finished the roads were covered again,” said Hunsicker.

Hunsicker said it took about 90 minutes after the snow stopped to get the roads clear and wet.

ODOT reported there were a few minor accidents, and while the main state roads were passable, crews would be working until morning cleaning up two-lane roads in the area.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol reported at least 10 motor vehicle accidents in each of Jefferson, Belmont and Harrison counties, while the Jefferson County sheriff’s department reported a few minor accidents. Toronto Police also reported slick streets and a few accidents, none of them serious.

In West Virginia, Bob Fowler, Brooke County emergency management director, said while main roads are passable county crews would be working throughout the night clearing back roads.

“The best thing for people to do is to stay off the roads,” Fowler said. “Most of the back roads are still pretty bad.”

Fowler said there were a few minor accidents and spinouts, but nothing major.

The Moon Township station of the National Weather Service reported the Steubenville-Weirton area received slightly more snow during Friday’s storm than other surrounding areas. Today’s forecast called for mostly cloudy weather, continued cold temperatures and a few flurries, with a high of 24. Tonight’s forecast calls for a low of 8 degrees, while warmer weather is forecast for Sunday with an expected high of 32 and partly sunny conditions.