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Posted December 10, 2013 | comments Leave a comment

Area recovers from snowfall, but icy conditions will persist

By Katie Demeria

Most of the disruption caused by the heavy snowfall that fell Tuesday morning dissipated by the afternoon, but the area should still prepare for some slick conditions later this week.

National Weather Service meteorologist Kevin Witt said the low temperatures the region will experience this week should keep the snow on the ground.

"We had some accumulations of around 2 or 3 inches in the Shenandoah Valley," Witt said. "It will stick around for a few days, and once we get some sunshine and the high pressure coming in, it's going to refreeze when the sun sets."

The constant melting and refreezing of snow will probably have an impact on the morning commute, Witt warned.

"Things will probably freeze around the roads especially, with the heavy traffic piling the snow down," he said.

While the aftermath of Tuesday's snow could make for messy driving, the storm itself did not last as long as expected.

At noon the National Weather Service removed the winter weather warning that was originally set to end at 2 p.m. because snowfall tapered off and skies cleared.

The Virginia Department of Transportation reported that many counties were experiencing clear to moderate road conditions by 11:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Many schools in the area closed for the second day in a row, including Shenandoah, Warren, and Frederick counties, as well as Winchester City Schools and Lord Fairfax Community College. Various government offices and businesses in the area either closed or delayed their openings.

Todd Peer, a salesman at H.L. Borden Hardware in Strasburg, and his associates opened the store at its usual time Tuesday.

"We're sold out on all our shovels and salt right now, and we're expecting another shipment in [Wednesday]," Peer said.

The winter weather did not cause a huge impact in the number of customers in the hardware store, Peer said, adding that people just get along with their day when the snow hits.

Amherst Family Practice in Winchester was one of the local businesses that made the decision to have a delayed opening. Tanya Holliday, office manager, made the decision after going in at 5:30 Tuesday morning.

"It was just terrible how bad the roads were," Holliday said. "I called the physician on call and we decided to postpone our opening until 9, then at 8 we checked it out again and decided to push it back until noon."

For Holliday, the decision to delay was helped by the knowledge that most of the office's employees live along rural roads.

"We want to make sure it's safe for everyone, that the roads are clear for employees, and that the parking lots aren't covered with ice so it's safe for patients to get into the building," she said.

The heaviest snowfall struck the northeast parts of Virginia, Witt said. Northern Virginia had 3 or 4 inches, most of which fell during the morning commute.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management's website reported that non-emergency federal employees would have an excused absence for the day, while others would be expected to telecommute.

The power outages that many had been experiencing throughout the commonwealth went from around 114,000 members without power on Monday to 9,600 Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com


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