Public Information Statement
Issued by NWS Charleston, WV

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NOUS41 KRLX 181439
PNSRLX
WVZ014-015-024>026-033>036-190315-

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT
NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE CHARLESTON WV
939 AM EST THU DEC 18 2014

...THE TURNPIKE TRAPPER...5 YEARS AGO...

A HEAVY WET SNOW ON FRIDAY DECEMBER 18TH...BACK IN 2009...BEGAN
DURING THE AFTERNOON HOURS OVER THE HIGH TERRAIN OF SOUTHERN WEST
VIRGINIA. IN ABOUT A 5 HOUR SPAN...9 INCHES HAD ACCUMULATED AROUND
BECKLEY.

THE HEAVY WET SNOW CONTINUED OVERNIGHT...WITH LIGHTER AMOUNTS ON
SATURDAY THE 19TH OF DECEMBER.

TOTAL SNOW ACCUMULATIONS OF AROUND 2 FEET OCCURRED AROUND OAK
HILL AND BECKLEY...THEN NORTHEAST INTO THE CENTRAL WEST VIRGINIA
MOUNTAINS AROUND RICHWOOD AND ELKINS.

TRACTOR TRAILER TRUCKS JACKKNIFED ON THE WEST VIRGINIA TURNPIKE
DURING THAT FRIDAY EVENING. THIS RESULTED IN A COMPLETE SHUTDOWN.
UNFORTUNATELY 800 TO 900 VEHICLES BECAME TRAPPED IN THE NARROW
MOUNTAIN VALLEYS BETWEEN CHELYAN AND BECKLEY.  MANY HOLIDAY
TRAVELERS HAD TO WAIT 15 TO 20 HOURS BEFORE EMERGENCY RESPONDERS
AND HIGHWAY CREWS COULD REOPEN THE ROAD.

ANOTHER MAJOR IMPACT WAS THAT ELECTRICITY WAS OUT FOR THOUSANDS
OF RESIDENTS FOR SEVERAL DAYS...EVEN THROUGH CHRISTMAS DAY.

AGAIN...THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE WAS LOOKING BACK AT THIS
SIGNIFICANT SNOW STORM THAT OCCURRED 5 YEARS AGO TODAY...BACK IN
2009. IT WAS LABELED THE TURNPIKE TRAPPER.

$$

KTB





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