Grocery stores up and down the east coast were
busy Sunday as shoppers stalked up on the essentials, bread, water, batteries,
just to name a few.
Coastal areas declared states of emergency and major
cities, like New York and Washington, D.C., shut down schools and public
transportation in anticipation of severe weather, but those concerns quickly
spread across the border into West Virginia as many counties were hit with
warnings and watches for high winds, heavy snow and blizzard-like conditions in
the coming days.
“It’s going to be a whole mess of conditions and
probably the biggest impact would be the snow in the mountains and even
potentially in the lowlands. Right now we’re expecting 2+ feet of snow in the
Snowshoe area," said Jonathan Wolfe, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Charleston.
"Other concerns are going to be wind and another concern would be
flooding, but that’s a little later on in the event since we’ve been so dry for
As Hurricane Sandy is expected to make landfall
early Tuesday, Wolfe said West
Virginians will see the most severe weather Monday
afternoon into Tuesday morning and Governor Earl Ray Tomblin said state
agencies had already begun preparing to cope with that threat.
“We have deployed about 30 members of the national guard to
various regions of the state to be on stand-by. We have our department of
highways," Tomblin said.
"They’ll be working around the clock, especially in those areas that
are prone to snow. We do have plenty of salt to take care of any snowfall that
would come, so, between the National Guard and the department of emergency
services, and the department of highways, we’re all working together.”
Randolph County was just one of 14 that could face upwards of feet of
heavy, wet snow, threatening to knock out power lines as temperatures drop. Jim
Wise, acting director of the Office of Emergency Management in Randolph County, said in his county, the fire departments are all
prepared to serve as temporary shelters in conjunction with the Red Cross.
“The people in this area, this geographical
area, especially here in Pocahontas, Tucker, Pendleton, etc., they’ve seen the
snow fall amounts when it’s really piled on," Wise said, "so they understand that it’s not
out of the realm of possibility for it to happen this early on. They have
enough warning and advance to know what potentially could be coming. That helps
a great deal, but by promoting it, will help even more.”
After this summer’s massive power outages caused
by severe weather, Tomblin said the state learned how to better prepare and is
ready for whatever may come our way.
“I think we’re prepared as far as getting people out," Tomblin said. "We’re
getting people out ahead of the storms. After the storms back in the summer,
everyone has been continually working in communications and anticipation of
another event such as the one we’re going to be facing here in the next 24
hours or so.”