Clipper snowstorm brings treacherous travel: Wednesday's storm first accumulating snow event of the season for Charleston
December 5, 2007
ABOVE: A car crashes into the barrier on I-64's Fort Hill Bridge after skidding on ice Wednesday morning. (More photos below)
HD EXPEDITION VIDEO: Accidents and icy roads in Charleston on Wednesday morning: Watch Video
DRIVING TIPS: Icy Bridge Safety
CHARLESTON, WV - The 'Alberta Clipper' storm forecast to affect the state of West Virginia on Wednesday arrived just before dawn, and lasted through the day. Before it was over, the roads across the area had experiened intermittent icing, causing an outbreak of accidents across the region. The notorious Fort Hill Bridge in Charleston (on I-64 at the Oakwood Road interchange) lived up to its accident-prone reputation, with at least five wrecks on the bridge throughout the day. Due to the cold temperatures and potent snowfall rates, bridges weren't the only trouble spots. Heavy snow coated most roadways by mid-morning, triggering widespread problems for drivers.
The snow changed over to rain around 10:30AM as temperatures rose to well above freezing. By noon, much of the morning accumulations had melted away, though a coating remained on the ground. As the cold side of the 'clipper' low rotated through during the late afternoon, the snow and freezing temperatures returned to give the area one final dusting before all of the precipitation ended.
I spent the day from Charleston to Elkview and everywhere in between. The heaviest snowfall I encountered all day was on I-79 north of Big Chimney, where accumulations were approaching 4 inches. In Charleston, the totals looked to be around 2 inches before the changeover to rain, with the brief warmup getting rid of most of the morning snow cover. Currently it looks like a little less than a quarter to half an inch of snow is left on the ground, mostly from the second round of snow during the evening hours. This will all be gone in the coming days, as a major warmup into the 60s happens this weekend.
GALLERY: December 5, 2007 Charleston, WV Snowstorm Photos
Click on each thumbnail to enlarge