A snow squall that dumped an additional two to four inches on the area Sunday caught some local residents by surprise.
“We weren’t really ready-I thought most of the snow was over. I’m getting pretty tired of it,” said Alice Lightfritz as she helped grandson Jordan Lightfritz shovel snow off the sidewalk in front of her South Sixth Street home.
“I have family who live up north, and they’re used to this, so it’s not a big problem when they get snow,” she said. “But we can’t even find a bag of salt here. I went to four different places Saturday and couldn’t find anything except some water softener salt at Apex True Value.”
Apex employees confirmed that the Greene Street store had been out of sidewalk salt for nearly two weeks, although they were trying to order more. Meanwhile some people were buying water softener salt to help keep ice from freezing on steps and sidewalks.
Jim Harlow at Tractor Supply in the Frontier Center said salt has been in very short supply for the last week-and-a-half as cities and counties across the nation have been using more of the material than normal due to this winter’s cold and snowy weather.
“Obviously the municipalities and counties have a higher priority for ice and snow removal than someone who needs salt to put on their front steps,” he said. “We had some extra water softener salt that could be used on walkways, but we sold out of that Saturday.
National Weather Service radio broadcasts from the Charleston, W.Va., weather center were still forecasting light snow, less than 1 inch in the Marietta area, at 2 p.m. Sunday, but 2 to 3 inches had already fallen since around 10 a.m.
NWS did update the forecast later Sunday afternoon, calling for some additional snowfall of up to an inch Sunday evening.
Meteorologist Simone Lewis with the NWS in Charleston, said on Saturday night she had been forecasting up to 2 inches of snow for Sunday, but the NOAA radio forecast was apparently still expecting light precipitation Sunday morning.
Waterford resident Gary Streight drove Ohio 60 into Marietta Sunday.
“It was very slick and nasty during the morning,” he said. “We were only driving about 35 miles per hour, but were still sliding through a lot of curves.”
Washington County Sheriff Larry Mincks had issued a Level 2 snow emergency declaration by 11:30 a.m. Sunday, noting there were quite a few snow-related vehicle accidents reported after the snow began falling around 10 a.m.
“There were a lot of minor accidents all over the county,” he said. “And we’re expecting the snow to continue until after 5 p.m. There may be 4 to 5 inches.”
Mincks said the county engineer’s office reported plenty of road salt would be available for surface treatment on the weekend. The same was true for the city of Marietta, according to streets superintendent Todd Stockel.
“They were forecasting an inch or less of snow Sunday, but I’d say we’ve had 2 to 3 inches in town,” he said. “We have five trucks out running with plows, and our salt supply is OK. We’ll have another 300 tons coming in which will give us about 400 tons by Monday night.”
Lewis said it will be cold, but no major snow is projected through this week in the local area.
“The next storm is expected midweek, but it’s moving across the southern U.S. and shouldn’t affect this area,” she said. “A little system may pass through toward the end of the week, around Friday, but it doesn’t look very significant.”
Tonight’s low will be around 12 degrees, and Lewis said Tuesday night’s low should be down to 5 degrees, with highs both days in the mid 20s ahead of a warming trend that will bring temperatures in the low 30s Wednesday and into the upper 30s and low 40s Thursday and Friday.