Storm Events Database
|Begin Date||12/18/2009 23:00:00 EST-5|
|End Date||12/19/2009 19:00:00 EST-5|
|Deaths Direct/Indirect||0/0 (fatality details below, when available...)|
|Episode Narrative||The mountain and the southern coal field counties were hit hard by heavy wet snow associated with a storm that moved out of the eastern Gulf of Mexico and across southern Georgia late Friday, the 18th. The storm then moved off the North Carolina coast early on the 19th.
Heavy wet snow began over the southern mountains around Beckley after 1400E on the 18th. Meanwhile, the precipitation started as rain in the southwestern lowlands. The storm even started as rain, as far north as in the Tygart River Valley around Elkins about 1730E. In the Clarksburg vicinity the storm began mainly as snow around 2100E on the 18th.
In about a 5 hour time span, 9 inches of snow had accumulated in Beckley by 1900E. The rain switched over to snow around 2100E for the lowlands, including Huntington and Charleston. By 2300E on the 18th, 14 inches of snow was reported in Oak Hill. Roads over the higher terrain quickly became hazardous and many were impassible. Tractor trailer trucks jackknifed on the West Virginia Turnpike, resulting in a complete shutdown. Unfortunately, 800 to 900 vehicles became trapped along a 3 mile stretch. This occurred in the narrow mountain valleys between Chelyan and Beckley. The vehicles were unable to turn around. Many of these travelers had to wait 15 to 20 hours before emergency responders and highway crews could reopen the road.
The snow continued on Saturday with lighter snow rates. The snow diminished during the late afternoon and evening of the 19th.
The western lowlands saw snow totals of mainly 5 to 10 inches, but the heavy snow failed to reach as far west as Mason or Wood Counties. However, snow accumulations of 10 to 13 inches were common around Clarksburg, Grafton and Philippi. Over Mingo, McDowell, and Wyoming Counties the snow accumulation was highly elevation dependent with totals from 6 inches along some river valleys to near 2 feet across the high terrain of eastern Wyoming and McDowell Counties. Oceana, Mullens, Pineville, and War all reported a 14 inch accumulation. Snow depths increased to around 2 feet in the Beckley and Oak Hill vicinity. These 2 feet snow depths continued northeast, to the mountains around Richwood and into Randolph and Pocahontas Counties. Mount Nebo reported the deepest snow depth with 31 inches. Pickens maximum snow depth was 26 inches. The maximum snow depth at Oak Hill was 23 inches, while Beckley had 22 inches, and Elkins reached 20 inches.| |Tree limbs began to snap Friday evening over the coal fields of southern West Virginia above 1500 feet in elevation. The pop, cracks, crashes, and boom sounds were heard as numerous tree branches and whole trees fell to the ground. The wet snow on the power lines even caused the poles to snap.
The worst impact of the storm, was the fact that electricity was out for thousands of residents for several days, including Christmas. By December 28th, some 3000 customers were still without electricity in Mingo and McDowell Counties. The American Red Cross had 16 shelters open. However, only a few hundred people took advantage of those shelters.
Governor Manchin declared a state of emergency. The state provided several counties with water, generators, kerosene, oxygen cylinders, cots, and blankets. National Guard troops assisted stranded motorists and helped with debris and snow removal. The state asked the federal government to help pay for the recovery.
All events for this episode:
|MCDOWELL (ZONE)||MCDOWELL (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||13:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||750.00K||0.00K|
|POCAHONTAS (ZONE)||POCAHONTAS (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||14:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||100.00K||0.00K|
|WYOMING (ZONE)||WYOMING (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||14:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||400.00K||0.00K|
|RALEIGH (ZONE)||RALEIGH (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||14:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||700.00K||0.00K|
|FAYETTE (ZONE)||FAYETTE (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||16:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||800.00K||0.00K|
|NICHOLAS (ZONE)||NICHOLAS (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||16:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||400.00K||0.00K|
|WEBSTER (ZONE)||WEBSTER (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||19:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||300.00K||0.00K|
|MINGO (ZONE)||MINGO (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||19:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||700.00K||0.00K|
|LOGAN (ZONE)||LOGAN (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||19:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||200.00K||0.00K|
|RANDOLPH (ZONE)||RANDOLPH (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||19:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||200.00K||0.00K|
|WAYNE (ZONE)||WAYNE (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||20:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||50.00K||0.00K|
|BARBOUR (ZONE)||BARBOUR (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||21:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||75.00K||0.00K|
|LEWIS (ZONE)||LEWIS (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||21:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||50.00K||0.00K|
|HARRISON (ZONE)||HARRISON (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||21:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||25.00K||0.00K|
|BRAXTON (ZONE)||BRAXTON (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||21:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||50.00K||0.00K|
|UPSHUR (ZONE)||UPSHUR (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||21:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||100.00K||0.00K|
|BOONE (ZONE)||BOONE (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||21:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||200.00K||0.00K|
|KANAWHA (ZONE)||KANAWHA (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||21:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||200.00K||0.00K|
|PUTNAM (ZONE)||PUTNAM (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||21:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||30.00K||0.00K|
|CLAY (ZONE)||CLAY (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||21:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||100.00K||0.00K|
|CABELL (ZONE)||CABELL (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||21:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||25.00K||0.00K|
|LINCOLN (ZONE)||LINCOLN (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||21:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||50.00K||0.00K|
|JACKSON (ZONE)||JACKSON (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||22:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||25.00K||0.00K|
|ROANE (ZONE)||ROANE (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||22:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||50.00K||0.00K|
|CALHOUN (ZONE)||CALHOUN (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||22:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||25.00K||0.00K|
|TAYLOR (ZONE)||TAYLOR (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||22:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||50.00K||0.00K|
|GILMER (ZONE)||GILMER (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||22:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||20.00K||0.00K|
|RITCHIE (ZONE)||RITCHIE (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||22:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||20.00K||0.00K|
|WIRT (ZONE)||WIRT (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||22:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||25.00K||0.00K|
|PLEASANTS (ZONE)||PLEASANTS (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||23:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||10.00K||0.00K|
|DODDRIDGE (ZONE)||DODDRIDGE (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||23:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||10.00K||0.00K|
|TYLER (ZONE)||TYLER (ZONE)||WV||12/18/2009||23:00||EST-5||Heavy Snow||0||0||10.00K||0.00K|