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HUNTINGTON OFFICIALS PREPARE FOR WEEKEND WINTER STORMS

Students+rage+aganst+the+winter+weather+this+morning%2C+January+20%2C+on+campus.
Students rage aganst the winter weather this morning, January 20, on campus.

Students rage aganst the winter weather this morning, January 20, on campus.

Ryan Fischer

Ryan Fischer

Students rage aganst the winter weather this morning, January 20, on campus.

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As the snowfall began Wednesday, City of Huntington officials started efforts to keep the roads clear.

Communications director, Bryan Chambers said the city currently has seven trucks, seven spreaders and six plows for snow removal.

“In terms of equipment we haven’t necessarily increased the amount, but we’ve been able to update what we have,” Chambers said.

Chambers said the city has been taking preparations in advance for this week’s forecast of inclement weather.

“We’ll probably go into the weekend with about 825 tons of salt,” Chambers said. “I know we’ve already used some and we’ve had four trucks out today.”

Chambers said the city has learned from last winter and is changing the method of snow removal downtown to stop snow from piling up on the curbs.

“We now plow the middle of the road and create a temporary barrier between the lanes,” Chambers said. “And when we can get to it we will bring in heavy equipment and take it to a central location where it can melt.”

Chambers said although the city has been taking preparations, the predicted snowfall could exhaust their resources.

“We’re watching the forecast very closely and if the weather models that we’re seeing today pan out to where we may get 10-12 inches of snow that will stretch us to our limit,” Chambers said.

If this happens, Huntington will rely on their partnership with the West Virginia Division of Highway to clear the 191 miles of roadway the city maintains.

Those 191 miles of roadway do not include primary roadways such as Third Avenue, Fifth Avenue and Hal Greer Boulevard, which are maintained by the state.

The National Weather Service Forecast Office in Charleston issued a Winter Storm Watch for the area and said snow accumulations could reach 12 to 16 inches.

Clara Maynard can be contacted at [email protected]

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