By Joe Beck
A spring storm laden with wet, heavy snow smacked the area Monday morning, slowing traffic and forcing the closing of schools in Frederick, Warren and Shenandoah counties.
The Virginia Department of Transportation reported an accident at mile marker 3 on Interstate 66 west at about 8 a.m.
Conditions improved considerably by mid-afternoon. VDOT issued a statement at 4 p.m. declaring interstate and most primary roads clear of snow and ice throughout the Shenandoah Valley. The agency listed minor hazards for secondary roads in Shenandoah, Warren and Frederick counties.
Agency officials said crews would still be plowing in higher elevations Monday and checking roads for refreezing. Drivers were urged to exercise caution and be wary of ice and slush, especially in higher elevations and bridges and overpasses.
Sgt. F.L. (Les) Tyler of the Virginia State Police said no serious accidents had been reported as a result of the storm.
"It's just the normal fender benders we have in inclement weather," Tyler said.
The falling snow took a toll on electrical service in some areas. Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative reported 425 outages in Shenandoah County and 70 in Warren County as of 9 a.m. Rappahannock Electric Cooperative recorded 56 outages in Frederick County, six in Shenandoah County and nine in Warren County.
The utilities reported only a handful of outages by mid-afternoon.
The National Weather Service lifted a winter storming in early afternoon. Weather Service spotters reported snow accumulations of eight inches in Woodstock and 5.3 inches in Stephens City.
The forecast for Monday night calls for rain and snow before 10 p.m. and a chance of snow between 10 p.m. and midnight. The low is expected to be around 27 with little or no additional snow expected.
Tuesday is expected to bring mostly cloudy skies, a slight chance of rain and snow showers after 11 a.m. and high of about 43.
Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or firstname.lastname@example.org