Winter arrives

THE ST. Clairsville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol had a busy day Wednesday, as it reported there were 15 crashes because of the snow and icy rain which fell in the morning and continued throughout the day.

The patrol also investigated several incidents involving slippery roadway conditions which led to motorists becoming stuck without damage to their vehicles.

A patrol spokesperson said the accidents were reported on almost all the state roadways in the county, as well as the interstates.

At 2:40 p.m., the patrol responded to an accident on U.S. 250 where a Ford Explorer went off the right edge of the road and struck the guard rail and posts. The vehicle then overturned onto its right side.

According to reports, the Colerain and Sunset Heights volunteer fire departments were dispatched to the scene. The information stated the windshield had to be cut out to allow the squad to remove the driver, who was taken to the Ohio Valley Medical Center by the Colerain Emergency Squad.

A deputy at the the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office reported that deputies were not advised of any accidents on county roads.

However, the storm had an impact on post-Christmas shopping. Relatively few cars were parked in the lots at the Ohio Valley Mall and Ohio Valley Plaza. Restaurants in the area also reported fewer customers than usual.

Belmont County was on a Level 1 emergency level this morning. The level indicates that “roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads are also icy. Drive very cautiously.”

A spokesperson at the Morristown garage of the Ohio Department of Transportation said crews were out most of the night and should be finishing up this morning.

The spokesperson said the main arteries of state roads are mostly clear, but motorists are advised to drive with caution and go slow.

A spokesperson at the Belmont County Engineer’s Garage said the afternoon shift worked until 1:30 this morning and the day shift has been out on the roads since 5 a.m. He said the roads are looking “good” but said motorists should take it easy.

Many area residents were also out in full force with their shovels and snow blowers clearing sidewalks and driveways.