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Southwest Virginia snowplow crews 'keep in front' of latest wintry blast

March 26th, 2013 1:41 pm by Steve Igo

WISE — Snow showers that blanketed Southwest Virginia beginning Monday are expected to end by Wednesday morning with improving weather conditions, possibly even almost spring-like, predicted for the rest of the week.

Persistent periods of snow are to continue through Tuesday into early Wednesday, however. School delays held sway again Tuesday and Wise County schools were closed for the second straight day, racking up an even dozen snow closure days for the division's 2012-13 school year so far.

Virginia Department of Transportation snowplow crews, working around the clock since late Sunday, were having little trouble keeping up with the latest wintry blast though.

"It's the same 'ol, same 'ol," said VDOT Wise Residency Administrator Allan Sumpter. "It looks like we've had another inch of accumulation overnight. Lee County is reporting a total of about 3 (inches since Monday), Wise County is reporting about the same, and Scott and Dickenson counties have only had about an inch."

There were some traffic snarls reported across the region when the latest storm ramped up into Monday morning, but a storm system focused more on the Northeastern U.S. delivered a glancing blow to Eastern Kentucky and Southwest Virginia.

"All of our main roads are in pretty decent shape. There are some scattered snow patches," Sumpter said of the Tuesday morning road conditions assessment. "In Wise and Lee, several of our secondary routes are listed in moderate conditions. But we're expecting temperatures to get up into the mid-30's today, so we're hoping that will warm the pavement up and help us with those."

Snowplow crews will continue to work around-the-clock into Tuesday night because of persistent snow showers expected through Wednesday morning, he added.

"As far as the forecast, there is still a chance of about one-half to 1-inch in Wise and Lee overnight into tomorrow, and about a half-an-inch in the other counties. So it appears more of the same we're dealing with. We've been fortunate it's such a small amount that our crews have been able to stay out and stay in front of it," Sumpter said.

Forecasts are for weather conditions to ease considerably for the rest of the week with temperatures creeping into the 50's by Friday and Saturday, providing at least a more optimistic hint that spring, now officially over a week along, might really have sprung.

Or getting ready to leastways. Maybe.

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