Spring? Heavy snow falls in West Virginia, Kentucky

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — It might be spring, but areas of West Virginia and Kentucky look more like winter, especially at ski resorts, with up to a foot of snow forecast in some areas.

The National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the eastern half of West Virginia until 11 p.m. Wednesday and in areas around Louisville, Kentucky, until 2 p.m. Much of the rest of both states were under a winter storm advisory that called for up to 5 inches of snowfall.

Snow fell Tuesday night and continued Wednesday morning, making travel difficult in some areas and leading several school systems to cancel classes.

Residents in some snow-bombarded areas of West Virginia were told to stay off the roads to allow crews to treat them.

Joe Castaldo, the state Department of Transportation’s Berkeley County supervisor, told the Journal of Martinsburg that numerous vehicles have slid off roads or become stuck on hills.

Castaldo suggested that people stay home if they can.

“If they have to be out, then try to stick to main primary routes and only go if you have four-wheel drive vehicles,” he said.

FirstEnergy said nearly 10,000 customers in northern and eastern West Virginia were without electricity on Wednesday, while Appalachian Power said more than 7,000 customers were without service in southern West Virginia.

Some of West Virginia’s ski resorts are enjoying an early spring surge after a warm February, said Joe Stevens, spokesman for the West Virginia Ski Areas Association.

The storm has especially benefited a pair of cross country ski areas. Whitegrass Touring Center in Tucker County and the Elk River Touring Center in Pocahontas County should “finish the season strong with excellent conditions,” Stevens said.

During an eight-day stretch in mid-March, 70 inches of snow fell at Snowshoe Mountain Resort, and that was before the current storm hit. The resort had 40 of 60 trails open Wednesday and plans to keep them open through the end of the month.

The storm came too late for skiers hoping to get in one last run at Timberline Four Seasons Resort and Canaan Valley resort, which had already shut down its slopes. In southern West Virginia, Winterplace Ski Resort in southern West Virginia suspended operations after last weekend and plans to decide whether to re-open for slopes this weekend.

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Tyler Barker is currently the News Director and Digital Content Manager for WOAY-TV. He was promoted to this job in Mid-November. He still will fill in on weather from time to time. You can follow Tyler on Facebook and Twitter @wxtylerb. Have any news tips or weather questions? Email him at tbarker@woay.com