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By Joe Beck
Local officials spoke confidently Wednesday afternoon about their communities surviving the worst storm of the winter with little trouble.
"We have not had any major issues," said Mary Beth Price, assistant Shenandoah County Administrator. "No major accidents. We're handling it pretty well, actually."
Price and others said ample preparation time helped residents and officials dampen the worst effects of the snow.
The south side of Front Royal was hit with a power outage early in the morning but Town Manager Steve Burke issued a statement before noon declaring the problem had been fixed.
Front Royal Police Chief Norman Shiflett said there were few problems on the streets, except for three tractor-trailers that got stuck on a hill on North Royal Avenue.
"As far as the Police Department is concerned, it's been fairly quiet today,"
Shiflett said. "Most schools and downtown stores were closed. I think whenever you get a snowfall that starts at night, it always makes it easier for public works and emergency workers to get around."
Warren County Sheriff Daniel McEathron said snow covered roads made traveling hazardous in the mountains, but, he added, "We haven't had too many problems with accidents."
"We're fortunate most people were well aware of the storm and staying at home where they should be," McEathron said.
Capt. Allen Sibert of the Frederick County Sheriff's Office also reported a mostly quiet day on the roads, except for three personal injury accidents, none of them serious.
Virginia State Police said there were no fatal accidents anywhere in the state that could be attributed to the storm. Sgt. F.L. (Les) Tyler said troopers responded to two jack knifed tractor trailers in the area, one of them on Interstate 66 in Warren County, the other in Fauquier County. Neither accident was serious, he said.
Cliff Balderson, administrator for the Virginia Department of Transportation's Edinburg office, said 130 road crew members began working around the clock at 8 p.m. Tuesday. He said they appeared to be more than holding their own against the snow as of mid-afternoon.
"The interstates are in good shape," Balderson said, adding that primary roads were also faring well, and crews would soon begin turning their attention to secondary roads.
"I appreciate people staying off the roads," Balderson said. "I'm hoping by this time tomorrow, this will be just a memory."