Springtime turns snowy

A HEAVY, wet snow fell after midnight in Eastern Ohio counties where crews were kept busy in plowing and then putting salt on the roads.

In Belmont County, road crews were out on the roads right after midnight, scraping and spreading salt. Kim Mercer, spokesperson at the Ohio Department of Transportation garage, Morristown, said ODOT crews were on the roads all night. She said things were looking a little better this morning, but urged motorists to drive slow and with caution.

Bob Detling, road supervisor for the Belmont Count Engineering Department, said county crews manned their trucks at 3 a.m. “It has been a busy night and morning, but conditions are improving,” he added. However, Detling pointed out that the weather report doesn’t look too promising since snow is predicted to start falling sometime this afternoon.

Dispatchers in Martins Ferry and St. Clairsville both said no problems were reported because of the snow. Township and village crews also were on the roads early today.

Two accidents were investigated this morning by the Ohio State Highway Patrol in St. Clairsville. A trooper said there were no injuries in either one. There was one accident in Holloway and the other on Ohio 331.

Chris Wood, manager of the ODOT garage in Harrison County said roads were clear and wet. “We kept up with it really good,” he said, adding the crews came out at midnight, and it began snowing after midnight.

Wood said the heavy, wet snow was hard to plow and then the road was salted after being cleared. The temperature also helped in combating the snow problems, according to the ODOT manager.

In Monroe County, Darren Hendershot, transportation manager of the ODOT garage, said, “Things are starting to get better.” Road crews have been working since midnight and in addition to doing a lot of plowing and salting, it was necessary to remove a couple of trees which came down on the roads during the heavy snow.

“It was a difficult snow, seeing as it was heavy,” he commented.

In Jefferson County, Ohio 7 and Ohio 22 were clear and wet, and the non-priority roads were snow-covered around 7 a.m. but expected to be cleared about 10 a.m., according to John Petrisko, transportation manager.

Petrisko said crews were out before midnight because of the forecast, and no problems were encountered. He added there had been no calls from the state patrol about accidents or vehicles stuck. “Either people were using better caution or stayed off the roads,” he said.

Most schools in the Ohio Valley postponed classes today.