Ice is primary concern with this winter storm

This graphic from the National Weather Service indicates the possibility of 1/2 inch of ice for most of Lewis County during the transition from rain to snow this evening.

Because of a prolonged period of transitioning weather conditions, Lewis County is poised to receive up to 1/2 inch coating of ice on trees and power lines which may result in power outages for residents.

That transition, according to the National Weather Service, will happen this evening and will result in an estimated layer of ice of 0.3 to 0.5 inches.

The Wilmington, Ohio, office of the NWS held a briefing for officials in their coverage area this afternoon with the latest available information.

The change will also result in less snow accumulation than initially predicted, with most of the county likely receiving about an inch.

The wintry mixture of precipitation will continue overnight with freezing rain and sleet, possibly mixed with snow before 2 a.m., then snow, possibly mixed with sleet between 2 a.m. and 3 a.m., then snow after 3 a.m., according to the NWS.

The freezing rain and sleet could be heavy at times. Low temperatures tonight will be around 20 with north wind at 8 to 14 mph.

With a high likelihood of power interruptions, warming shelters have been readied to be put into service if needed.

Judge Executive Craig Stanfield said fire department facilities may be utilized as well as the facility that formerly housed the detention center. A standby generator will be able to supply electricity to that facility should service be interrupted in multiple areas, including those served by Vanceburg Electric, Grayson RECC, and Fleming-Mason Energy.

Schools and many area businesses have been closed today and will be closed again tomorrow based on the forecast.

Stanfield urges residents to stay at home and off roadways unless absolutely necessary as the transition from rain to freezing rain begins and temperatures drop below 32 degrees.

Road crews were unable to pre-treat roadways because rain would have washed any treatments off the roadway. Crews are on standby to begin treating around bridges and intersections when the ice begins to form in those areas.

Vanceburg Mayor Dane Blankenship urges area residents to look out for neighbors and family members, especially elderly residents, and keep a check on them throughout the weekend as wind chills will dip below zero Friday night into Saturday morning.

Emergency Management Director Dennis Brown will continue to monitor weather and road conditions throughout the storm’s duration and assist in coordinating response as needed.

Anyone needing emergency assistance should dial 911. Those needing assistance, such as delivery of food or medicines, should call the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office at 606-796-2912 or the Vanceburg Police Department at 606-796-2111.

If you must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency. Be prepared for possible power outages.

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