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Emergency Crews Ready As Winter Storm Moves In

Reported: Mar. 2, 2014 6:07 PM EST
Updated: Mar. 2, 2014 11:43 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Heath Harrison) -- Rain was turning to ice and snow across the region Sunday night.

Areas in the western portions of the Eyewitness news viewing area reported snow beginning to fall, as a winter storm moved in on the region.

Charleston saw rain turn to freezing rain Sunday night, as schools throughout the area cancelled classes.

The heaviest accumulation was expected overnight, with 5 to 8 inches possible in Charleston and Huntington, according to Eyewitness News meteorologist Jim Barach.

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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Sean Delancey, Dan Matics) -- A dangerous winter storm was moving in to the Eyewitness News viewing area Sunday night.

Emergency and power crews were preparing to deal with storm’s impact.

Emergency responders at fire stations in Charleston were already prepped to respond to emergencies on slick roads.

At Station 2, they had put chains on the tires of their trucks for extra traction.

Firefighters said they were sure they will get where they need to go in their vehicles, but said they weren't so sure regular cars will be able to make it on nasty roads.

"Great care is given on highways and byways to get to calls, keeping in mind that other people on the road that don't have chains who probably shouldn't be out there to begin with, but we encourage people if you don't have to go out tonight, stay in the house," Captain Mark Strickland said.

Charleston firefighters said they have yet to have issues making it to where they need to go despite the horrible weather this winter.

They said they don't expect that this latest storm is going to be any different.

In Cabell County, the office of emergency services was standing by ready for the storm.

They spent all day Saturday preparing.

Two shelters were set up with generators and on standby to open.

A Humvee ambulance, used to tear through snow and ice, was gassed up and ready to go.

Crews had shovels, salt and chainsaws in their vehicles, ready to deal with downed trees and icy roads.

The Huntington Area Food Bank was also on standby, ready to pitch in to help the shelters.

All emergency staff was on call.

The weather is something that they Cabell EMS was highly prepared for and were taking very seriously.

“This ice is what concerns me,” Cabell EMS Director Gordon Merry said. “The snow - that's secondary but if we get a half an inch of ice, we are going to have some major difficulties."

The command office at Cabell County 911 was on standby.



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