Winter arrives early

Sunday morning’s snow squall brought just enough accumulation and ice to postpone the Oak Grove Volunteer Fire Department’s annual “Santa Run” for a week. The storm also resulted in several minor traffic accidents in Marietta and Washington County.

“We had to cancel Sunday’s Santa Run due to the weather. The snow wasn’t too bad, but it was the ice underneath that was the problem,” said Oak Grove VFD Chief Brian Pratt.

Each year the department’s fire trucks give Santa a ride through Oak Grove and surrounding neighborhoods where he hands out treats to area children. But not to worry-St. Nick will still be making the rounds.

“We’ve rescheduled the run for the same time next Sunday (Dec. 15) at 1 p.m.,” Pratt said.

John Hanson with Marietta City Police said there were some weather-related traffic mishaps in town Sunday morning.

“We had three that were pretty much back-to-back on Greene, Putnam and Pike streets, but nothing major, and there were no injuries,” he said. “A streets crew was called out to clear the roadways.”

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office declared a Level 1 snow emergency status for the county at 10:20 a.m. as several minor weather-related accidents also occurred on county and state roads outside the city.

The snowfall provided an employment opportunity for brothers Hunter and Brenton Henthorne who began shoveling off the walkway for free in front of their home and a couple of neighboring houses on Fourth Street Sunday morning.

“But later we’ll be shoveling to earn some money,” Hunter said. “We can bring in $30 to $40 a day, then we split the money between us.”

The snow turned to sleet and freezing rain, then to all rain as temperatures slowly rose above the freezing mark Sunday afternoon and evening.

The mercury was expected to reach a high of around 35 or 36 degrees Sunday afternoon and remain at that level through the night, according to John Victory, meteorolgist with the National Weather Service in Charleston, W.Va.

“Monday we’re looking at a high in the 40s, ahead of another smaller cold front,” he said. “And by Monday afternoon it should start drying out, although there is the possibility of a little snow falling on Tuesday.”

Victory said tonight’s low temperature would be in the mid 20s, which could turn any leftover precipitation into snow Tuesday with little accumulation expected.

“After Tuesday there’s no real precipitation expected through the rest of the week,” he said.

Sunday could have been worse in the local area, Victory said, noting Jackson County, W.Va., received approximately a half-foot of snow over the weekend.