It was back to business as usual Thursday afternoon after winter storm Gail dropped several inches of snow throughout Warren and Shenandoah counties Wednesday.
According to the National Weather Service, 9 inches of snow had fallen in Front Royal by 9 a.m. Thursday and 11.5 inches had fallen in Basye by 11:53 p.m. Wednesday. Almost 9 inches had fallen by 3:02 a.m. Thursday in Shenandoah County.
Road conditions were reported by the Virginia Department of Transportation as clear on Interstate 66 in Warren County and on I-81 in Shenandoah County by 11 a.m.
Primary and secondary roads in Warren County were down to bare pavement except for isolated spots of snow, ice or slush, by about 4:15 p.m. VDOT’s website reported ‘no adverse road conditions for Shenandoah County primary roads by about 6:15 p.m. Route 758 (Woodstock Tower Road) West and East were closed for ice, VDOT’s website reported around the same time.
“Things went very well for the size of the storm we had yesterday,” Sandy Myers, communications manager of the Staunton district of VDOT, said Thursday by phone.
Crews had worked around the clock plowing roadways and wrapped that up by about late Thursday morning with help from the sun, she said.
With threats of freezing Thursday night, crews were expected to be out monitoring the roadways and laying down salt and abrasive as needed, Myers added. That monitoring included bridges and overpasses that are more prone to freezing, Myers said.
Only one power outage was reported across both counties by Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative and Rappahannock Electric Cooperative during the storm.
The one outage was reported in Warren County, REC Director of Communications & Public Relations Casey Hollins said by phone, and it wasn’t clear if that was storm-related.
“Both of us fared significantly well,” Hollins said, adding an appreciation for SVEC sending 18 line workers and two contract crews to help REC with its restoration efforts.
REC had reported the peak of its outages at 21,000 around 10 a.m, Wednesday. Most of the outages remained in Culpepper, Fauquier, Spotsylvania and Orange counties Thursday.
SVEC reported 600 hundred outages in Augusta County Wednesday night, the most it recorded during the storm.
“We were pretty fortunate,” said Preston Knight, spokesperson for SVEC.
Both Hollins and Knight said outages typically occur because of a mixture of wet and heavy snow with ice. Those conditions were present in Fauquier County, with wind, Hollins said.
Warren County Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico and Shenandoah County Fire Chief Tim Williams also had little to report from Wednesday night into Thursday, as the storm left the area.
Maiatico reported some medical emergencies involving slips and falls or difficulty breathing from clearing snow, but nothing significant.
“We lucked out,” Maiatico said.
“I think everyone did a really good job of staying off the roads and hunkered down,” Williams said.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office reported eight-vehicle crashes from 8 a.m. Wednesday to 1 p.m. Thursday, two with injuries. Other police departments in the area reported no major incidents.
The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office reported three motor vehicle accidents, none with injuries.
State police responded to 29 crashes in Shenandoah and Page counties and 33 crashes in Clarke, Warren and Frederick Counties.
Warren County schools were closed Thursday. There had been no announcements of plans for Friday by 2:50 p.m. Shenandoah County Schools are all-virtual every Friday. There was no announcement of any changes from their previous schedule on their website and Facebook pages. There will be no school sport practices in Shenandoah County on Friday.
Warren County government offices opened at noon Thursday. Shenandoah County government offices opened at 10 a.m. Thursday.
Front Royal town offices opened Thursday and plan to open at regular times Friday.
Mount Jackson’s town office opened at 11 a.m. on Thursday and will open on time Friday.
Strasburg and Woodstock government offices opened at 10 a.m. on Thursday. Strasburg offices planned to open at the regular time on Friday.
Staff writers Alex Bridges, Brad Fauber, Tommy Keeler, Josette Keelor and Matt Welch contributed to this report.