- Associated Press - Saturday, January 23, 2016

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The latest on the winter storm in West Virginia (all times local).

4:20 p.m.:

West Virginia University has rescheduled its reopening by a day.

The university closed at 6 a.m. Friday ahead of the winter storm that has lashed the East Coast. It was to re-open on Sunday.

But in an announcement Saturday, WVU said it now plans to re-open on Monday at 6 a.m.

University officials said the decision was based on snowfall that hit 20 inches or more, with additional snow forecast.

Some University operations are continuing. They include the Student Recreation Center, WVU Libraries, residence halls and dining services, among others.


1:40 p.m.:

Interstate 77 north of Charleston has reopened after 150-200 vehicles were stranded overnight amid the snowstorm.

The logjam of mostly tractor trailers on Interstate 77 was cleared by noon Saturday after road crews plowed the snowy highway surface and a fleet of wreckers pulled out stuck vehicles.

C.W. Sigman of the Kanawha County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management said the vehicles became ensnared Friday evening as snow moved into West Virginia’s capital city.

He said the backup of dozens of big rigs grew as the night went on and into Saturday morning.

Charleston received nearly 1 ½ feet of snow.


12:30 p.m.:

West Virginia Roman Catholics are being relieved of their obligation to attend Mass because of the snow storm battering the state and the Mid-Atlantic region.

In a message to the faithful issued Saturday, the spiritual leader of Roman Catholics in the state also encouraged the faithful to check on elderly neighbors and those at risk from the storm. Bishop Michael J. Bransfield encouraged prayers for those in the path of the storm.

Besides Sunday Mass, Bransfield said Catholics are also relieved from their obligation to attend Saturday evening liturgies.


8:30 a.m.:

Parts of West Virginia are digging out from nearly 2 feet of snow, with more on the way.

The National Weather Service in Charleston reported Saturday nearly 17 inches in the capital city, with 23 inches reported in the eastern mountains. That includes Pocahontas County, home to Snowshoe Mountain ski area.

Meteorologist Maura Casey says snowfall in northwest West Virginia ranged from 8 to 10 inches, with some local depths of 15 inches.

But the massive winter storm moving up the Mid-Atlantic isn’t quite done. Casey says Charleston could get another 2 to 6 inches, while the eastern mountains could get up to 10 more inches of snow.

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