The snow that fell on Floyd County and Southwestern Virginia caused havoc throughout the region and cleanup continues Wednesday with schools closed for the third straight day and reports dangerous road conditions on many secondary roads.
Yet it could have been much worse. Forecasts predicted 12 inches or more. In Floyd County, about 7-8 inches came down as the storm moved more quickly than expected and left less of the white stuff around.
Frigid temperatures, however, will keep the white stuff around longer than normal for the area as the thermometer will plunge overnight Wednesday of four degrees below zero and a high Thursday is just three degrees before the temperatures head down again to 12 degrees below before a slow warming that will being a high of 21 on Friday and a low of nine above, then slightly above freezing 34 on Saturday and 46 on Sunday.
The plummeting temperatures starting tonight brings with it a wind chill warning from the National Weather Service in Blacksburg that will last until 10 a.m. Friday. Wind chills could reach 30 below and, to make matters even worse, there could be 1-3 inches of snow tonight.
A clipper-like disturbance will also ride in during the afternoon, and we may have some brief but heavy snow squalls like those that occurred Thursday afternoon and Saturday evening. Don’t be surprised to see sideways snow with low visibility for a few minutes at some point Wednesday afternoon, and it may even cover whatever isn’t covered or collect a little bit atop the existing snowpack, possibly a half-inch to locally an inch. Upslope snow showers will continue for a longer time mainly west of Roanoke, and some amounts closer to 2 inches are possible the closer to the West Virginia state line or west of I-77 you are.
The cold also brings warnings of frozen water pipes, frostbite and hypothermia.
Winds, which brought gusts of up to 60 miles per hour last weekend, will be a little calmer, running at 10 to 20 mph with gusts to 35.
For the most part, Floyd was a ghost town Tuesday with several businesses closed or open for only short hours. Some bank branches closed all day. Others opened late and closed early.
Supermarkets like Food Lion and Slaughters worked Tuesday to restock shelves cleared out by an onslaught of shoppers as the snow approached on Monday but restocking depended on food deliveries delayed by the weather.
A lone young sledder tried the slopes of Lineberry Park of Floyd Tuesday afternoon but soon gave up and headed for the warmth of home. Snow blowers and tractors with blades cleared sidewalks and parking lots. Circuit Judge Marc Long canceled court for the day.
At the closed Floyd County High School, a conference tournament boys basketball game between the Buffaloes and Giles was postponed for the second straight day and rescheduled, tentatively, for 6 p.m. Wednesday but worsening weather conditions and the threat of more snow brought another postponement to Friday at 6 p.m.
The Lady Buffs, first-seed in conference, had a bye and is scheduled to open play in the second round at James River High School at Buchanan at 6 p.m. Thursday but that is still tentative.
The Western Virginia Water Authority encourages residents to leave water drip from at least one faucet in homes to relieve water pressure and help prevent freezing in the sub-zero temperatures. Keep an eye on water flow during the night on both Wednesday and Thursday.
Problems could occur at washer connections, under counter pipes near outside walls, outdoor pipes and those inside garages.
It is also a good idea to check anti-freeze levels in vehicles.