Wise County

Wise County prepares for snow

Wise County prepares for snow

WISE COUNTY, Va. - One of the first areas to see snow start falling Tuesday night was southwest Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Transportation reported the snow started around 9 p.m. Tuesday and became heavy around 2 a.m. Wednesday. VDOT mobilized about 100 crews Tuesday night in Southwest Virginia.

Come rain, sleet, sun or snow, Ryan Gardner runs every day about 15 miles per day. He said the recent snow storms are helping him train for his upcoming marathons. "This is the best weather to run in. It's perfect at 20 to 30 degrees. You don't get overheated. The snow helps cool you off," he said.

But running along the road can be dangerous as temperatures drop and the wet roads freeze. "Whenever I get out into the county, it can be slick there. I try to stay over to the side as far as I can," said Gardner.

VDOT road crews were out early in this storm trying to make sure the roads were safe for everyone. "The roads are in decent shape, all things considered. We obviously were spared the brunt of it that came into the northern part of the state," said Allan Sumpter, VDOT spokesman.

But southwest Virginia knows all too well what a blizzard looks like since they were covered by more than a foot of snow in January. "There was quite a bit of difference between this storm and the bit storm in January. The snow fell so rapidly then we had roughly two to three inches falling per hour," said Sumpter. "So it came upon us pretty quick. We tried to be ahead of this storm by being mobilized as early as possible."

First Sgt. Jack Baldridge with the Virginia State Police said crews across the region had more time to prepare for this storm. "The last storm in January hit us all of a sudden. We saw 12 to 18 inches fall in a matter of a couple hours. It paralyzed us," Baldridge said.

Police are using driving to continue to use caution as more snow and freezing rain are forecast to move into the region Wednesday night. "We've got our fingers crossed and hope we can survive the next 24 hours," said Baldridge.

VDOT said they have 11,000 tons of salt on hand and ready to go. They used about 450 tons Tuesday night.

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