The Virginia Department of Transportation this morning declared both US 221 and Virginia Route 8 in Floyd County “extremely hazardous and impassable in some areas” and many secondary roads are closed as a pre-winter blizzard dumped more than a foot and a half of snow on Southwestern Virginia.
Sections of Interstates 81 and 77 were “virtually shut down” according to the Virginia State Police as some motorists abandoned their cars and accepted rides from emergency vehicles.
Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine declared a state of emergency Friday night as the storm swept across the Old Dominion and paralyzed much of the East Coast.
Appalachian Electric Power said this morning that 21,900 customers in Southwestern Virginia had lost power but none of the reported outages were in Floyd County.
The storm started mid-afternoon Friday, closing businesses early and sending residents into grocery stores to stock up for what looked to be a long, isolated weekend. Floyd’s traditional Friday Night Jamboree was canceled along with a scheduled concert tonight by The White Top Mountain Band at the Country Store. Sunday’s Christmas Parade, postponed twice earlier because of weather, is also canceled for the year.
WDBJ television reported 16 inches of snow at its location in Roanoke early today while the U.S. Weather Service said 13 inches had fallen in Blacksburg. I measured 14 inches in our driveway this morning.
Virginia State Police reported multiple traffic accidents and tie-ups on roadways.
We’ll keep monitoring the situation and report updates and we get them.
UPDATE (9:01 a.m.) – Snow has stopped in our section of Floyd County but the NWS says we could get a couple of more inches before nightfall.
UPDATE: (9:55 A.M.) – Weather radar shows storm has moved north of our area. The snow should be over. Now we start digging out.