- Associated Press - Monday, March 3, 2014

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - State and local government offices closed, flights were cancelled and students got a break from classes on Monday as a winter storm brought another round of snow and ice to West Virginia.

Up to 10 inches of snow was expected in the Greenbrier Valley and parts of Nicholas, Webster, Pocahontas and Randolph counties. Other areas could receive up to 8 inches, the National Weather Service said.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin initially asked state workers to delay reporting to work Monday morning but later ordered state agencies to close, citing potentially hazardous travel conditions amid ice and snow. His order exempted state workers providing weather-related support services.

County government offices in Kanawha and Jefferson counties also closed, along with courts in several counties. Public school systems and public and private colleges across the state cancelled classes, including West Virginia and Marshall universities.

The West Virginia Supreme Court cancelled oral arguments in four cases that it had planned to hear at the WVU School of Law in Morgantown.

Jefferson County emergency officials urged motorists to stay home and off the roads, advice that many heeded, said Jessica Owens, a spokeswoman for the county Homeland Security and Emergency Management office.

“I think people realize that if they can stay home, they should,” Owens said.

Owens said the county had received 4 inches of snow Monday morning but no power outages or other problems were reported.

Appalachian Power reported about 960 outages in southern and western West Virginia. A handful of FirstEnergy customers in northern and eastern West Virginia were without power.

About a dozen flights were canceled at airports in Beckley and Charleston.

“I’m sick of the snow,” David Mines of Kellys Creek said Monday morning as he stopped at a convenience store in Charleston for a drink. “I’ve been in this state for 14 years, and I think this is the worst winter we’ve had.”

George Crowder of South Charleston said there was more snow in downtown Charleston than he anticipated but he didn’t have a hard time getting into the city.

“It was OK. The only bad thing is the ice,” he said.

Janie Pierce of St. Albans said secondary roads outside of Charleston were a bit dicey but she was not too concerned about the weather.

“We’re West Virginians. It’s going to take more than this to keep us at home,” said Pierce as she stopped at a McDonalds in the state capital to get a cup of coffee.

This winter’s barrage of storms has taken a toll on West Virginia’s supply of salt used to treat snow- and ice-covered roads. The state Department of Transportation is reducing the amount of salt it uses and turning to other abrasives such as sand and small limestone rock, DOT spokeswoman Carrie Bly said Monday.

“With this harsh a winter, we are getting to the bottom of our supplies,” she said.

“We are still in the thick of it today because the snow is still coming down, but we are pleased the threat of ice has kept many people at home and made them more cautious about going out. That is helping us do our job,” she said.

Winter storm warnings remained in effect through Monday evening for most of the state.


Sarah Plummer in Charleston contributed to this report.

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