Sandy brings snow, slow to town
Published: Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 31, 2012 08:10
The effects of hurricane Sandy hit West Virginia late Monday night, causing high winds, snow accumulation and power outages across the state.
With more than 280,000 residents without power and snowfalls of up to 17 inches, both Governor Earl Ray Tomblin and President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency in West Virginia.
"As this storm continues to impact our state, I ask all residents to stay off the roads unless it is an emergency," Tomblin said in a release on his website. "Our local, state and – with this emergency declaration – now federal emergency leaders are working diligently to address the evolving needs of all West Virginians."
Across the state, public schools in dozens of counties have canceled school for Wednesday, and several Universities including Concord, Bluefield State and Potomac State, have cancelled classes.
In Morgantown, West Virginia University officially remains open, but many professors have independently cancelled classes.
In response to students’ absences Tuesday, Senior Associate Provost Russell Dean issued a statement to WVU professors.
"Because of the current weather conditions, some WVU students are encountering difficulty getting to class today," he said. "WVU faculty members are encouraged to be lenient and reasonable in permitting students who are absent from class because of the whether to make up assignments or tests."
Narvel Weese, WVU Vice President of Administration and Finance, urges students and employees to use good judgement when deciding to attend work or class.
The University rarely cancels classes entirely, but should conditions worsen, Weese said the University is prepared to make cancellations.
However, in the event of a cancellation, essential operations such as dining services, residential hall services and bus routes will continue to operate on a normal schedule.
Residents reported snowfalls of 2-3 inches on Dorsey Avenue, 12 inches on Grafton Road and 1-2 inches on Van Voorhis Road, and Interstate 68 was closed between Morgantown and the Maryland state line due to blizzard conditions.
Across the state, members of the West Virginia National Guard have been deployed to assess damage and provide disaster relief. Teams of liason officers will travel through communities to ensure the residents have the supplies necessary to survive the storm.
Monongalia County is not scheduled for a visit by these teams, however.
FEMA has also gained clearance to provide federal disaster relief to West Virginia, but no plans have been announced.
For updates on disaster relief and releases from the governor’s office, visit www.governor.wv.gov. To learn more about cancelled events at WVU, visit www.wvu.edu.