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State of preparedness: Emergency crew ready for winter storm

Published: Feb. 17, 2021 at 6:14 PM EST
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CLARKSBURG, W.Va (WDTV) - Governor Jim Justice declared a state of preparedness for north-central West Virginia and is in effect as of Tuesday.

Harrison County Director of Emergency Management Laura Pysz says that the proclamation means the state will be providing help to counties by responding to emergencies caused by the expected winter storm.

“It is expected to put down heavy wet snow that will cause additional tree damage and power outages,” said Justice.

Officials with the Division of Highways and FirstEnergy say they’re keeping a close eye on forecasts as the winter storm warning will be in effect until Friday morning.

Pysz tells 5 News part of being prepared is the line of communication.

“Leading up to the storm, or any storm, we start extra weather briefings with our state partners, ourselves, DOH, Board of Education, Red Cross, National Guard, and it just keeps going from there,” said Pysz.

Pysz says emergency crews are ready.

“Our first responders are responding to accidents all over, so we just want to make sure everyone is aware of what is going on and uses caution,” Pysz continued.

The Division of Highways District Manager Mike Cronin says his crews are working tirelessly to keep our roads safe.

“We’ve got some truck down. I’ve got our mechanics working overtime trying to make sure they’re all up and running for the storm,” said Mike Cronin. “We’re restocking salt, we’ve got a couple hundred tons coming in today and we also have our brine trucks out now.”

The state of preparedness will remain in effect until the governor ends his proclamation.

“That state of preparedness is allowing us to get ready for anything that may come our way,” said Pysz.

Officials are recommending residents call 211 for shelter and other emergency resources.

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