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Winter weather advisory canceled

Jan. 25, 2013 @ 04:29 PM

HUNTINGTON — The National Weather Service has canceled a winter weather advisory issued for the Tri-State.

That comes after a winter storm dumped a small amount of snow Friday, but heavy headaches on the Tri-State.

A late afternoon crash on Interstate 64 in Barboursville closed a portion of the freeway. It represented just one of dozens of accidents to clog I-64 Friday as snow covered the pavement and sent cars sliding.

The storm also forced many schools to dismiss early, canceled Friday’s games at the 36th Annual St. Joe Invitational Basketball Tournament and delayed at least one flight at Tri-State Airport.

It’s all due to a weather system that forecasters expect could bring a snow accumulation of 2 to 4 inches, according to the National Weather Service. A winter weather advisory remains in effect through 7 p.m. Friday.

Numerous vehicle crashes, particularly on Interstate 64, have become the biggest headline out of Friday’s snow storm. As of 3 p.m., crews were tending to seven vehicle crashes on the freeway between the state line and Milton. That number had climbed as high as nine, according to updates provided by the West Virginia Division of Highways.

At one point, authorities urged motorists to travel as slow as 30 miles per hour or simply avoid Interstate 64 altogether in Huntington.

Elsewhere, emergency dispatchers reported trouble spots on U.S. 52 in South Point, Ohio, and W.Va. 10 in Lincoln County near Branchland and West Hamlin, W.Va. Crashes also have been reported in other areas and authorities everywhere urge caution.

West Virginia highways officials, at 3 p.m., listed I-64 and other area roadways in fair condition, however electronic signs urged motorists to use caution. Highway crews in Ohio and Kentucky also reported wintery conditions.

Poor visibility was blamed for delaying an Allegiant Air flight from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It forced the 11:20 a.m. arrival to be diverted to Lexington, Ky., for refueling. Airport officials expected it to refuel and return by early afternoon, also delaying a noon departure for Fort Lauderdale.

The wintertime mess also prompted many area school districts to opt for an early dismissal, and prompted officials at the St. Joe Invitational Basketball Tournament to postpone games until Saturday. Click here to view the updated schedule.

Cabell and Putnam counties dismissed students two hours early. Cabell officials additionally announced that Friday night sporting events for its county have been canceled.

Elsewhere in West Virginia, Mason County dismissed students at noon, Wayne County at 12:30 p.m., Lincoln County three hours early and Teays Valley Christian dismissed at 11:30 a.m.

In Ohio, Symmes Valley dismissed at 11:45 a.m., followed at noon by Chesapeake Union Local, Rock Hill Local and South Point Local. Fairland Local closed at 12:30 p.m. and Dawson Bryant Local dismissed students two hours early.

Most area schools in Kentucky already were closed.

The first snowflakes started flying in Huntington around 9 a.m. It soon started sticking on and blowing across 5th Avenue. Roadways were beginning to get slick in some areas an hour later.

Keep checking www.herald-dispatch.com, along with our host of Twitter and Facebook accounts for constant updates. Also feel free to share photos and snow depths from your locations. Follow the newspaper @heralddispatch and reporters @curtisjohnsonHD and @LaciePiersonHD.

Forecasters predict Friday’s high temperature will top out at 29 degrees. A slight chance of snow hangs around for Friday night, mainly before 10 p.m. The low will fall to 26.

Saturday brings a slight chance of lingering snow with a high near 31 degrees. The overnight low is 16 degrees under mostly cloudy skies.

Partly sunny conditions are expected for Sunday. The high will reach 39 degrees. The overnight low dips to 31.

Temperatures race toward 50 degrees Monday night and will exceed that mark for Tuesday. Monday’s rain and snow will become all rain Monday night and into Tuesday.