Local officials prepare for snowfall

Local government officials issued warnings Tuesday about a storm that a National Weather Service forecaster said was likely to bring “impactful” amounts of snow to the area Friday and Saturday.

Shenandoah County officials said in a written statement that public safety workers connected with the Shenandoah County Emergency Operations Center have been alerted “and have reviewed their responsibilities in the event the county’s emergency operations plan should be put into effect.”

Front Royal officials said in a written statement that workers are readying equipment used in snow removal and responding to utility service problems that occur during the snow.

Town officials are asking residents and others to park off the street to allow for removal of the snow within 24 hours of the storm ending. Vehicles parked on the street are likely to have piles of snow pushed against them, which will make it hard for drivers to open doors and enter cars and trucks.

Town officials are asking that garbage cans, basketball hoops and similar items be removed from streets. Owners and managers of business and industrial properties are also reminded that snow removal is required within 24 hours after the storm has passed.

Anyone in Front Royal with a water or sewer service problem is asked to call 635-7819. The number for electrical service trouble is 635-3027 and 635-2111 for after hour utility interruptions.

Anyone with further questions pertaining to Front Royal preparations is asked to call 635-8007.

Steve Zubrick, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Sterling, said it is too early to predict snowfall amounts from the storm, which came ashore on the West Coast on Tuesday morning.

“In essence, forecaster confidence is fairly high. We’ll have significant winter storms Friday and into Saturday, and it could be very impactful with numerous delays and closures, and it could be a threat to life and property,” Zubrick said.

Zubrick added that the National Weather Service “should know more about snow amounts” by Wednesday afternoon.

Shenandoah County officials encouraged residents to keep an emergency kit with enough supplies for three days. Suggested items in the kit include non-perishable food; a gallon of drinking water per person per day and large containers filled with water for flushing toilets and other needs; flashlights and extra batteries; a battery operated radio and candles or lanterns and matches.

Officials are also urging people to listen to weather forecasts, charge cell phones and fuel up vehicles in case a power outage renders gas pumps inoperable.

Updates and additional information about coping with bad weather are available at www.facebook.com/ShencoCoFR.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com