Area residents dig their way out, prepare for more snow

On Monday the area was still digging out from 14-inches of snow that fell on Friday and Saturday.

Primary roads and highways were clear while secondary roads were still covered with snow.

On Saturday, Belmont County was under a Level III Snow Emergency. The county remained under a Level II Snow Emergency on Monday.

Local schools were closed Monday due to secondary roads being impassible.

Up to six more inches of snow was predicted to fall between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Approximately 700 customers were still without power in Belmont County on Monday, Feb. 8. AEP Ohio estimated power would be restored by midnight on Tuesday, February 9.

A shelter was activated at the Somerton Fire Department as of 1:20 p.m. on Monday. The contact number there is 757-2565.

Despite receiving as much as 18 inches of snow in parts of eastern Ohio this past weekend, crews with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 11 stood ready for whatever winter weather coming Tuesday and Wednesday.

State and local crews were busy continuing to clean up from the weekend storm, removing downed trees, treating icy spots and repairing equipment and trucks - all in preparation for the next forecasted round of winter weather.

A winter storm watch remained in effect from the National Weather Service from Tuesday morning through Wednesday afternoon. A strong low pressure system moving eastward through the Upper Ohio Valley Tuesday into Wednesday may bring more than six more inches of snow accumulation.

ODOT crews have used approximately 52,000 tons of salt to keep the state's highways and bridges safe and passable this winter in District 11 - and have more than 38,000 tons of salt stockpiled, if needed.

Combining labor, material and equipment costs, ODOT District 11 has invested roughly $5.7 million in combating ice and snow so far this season.

Being a careful and informed driver is the best way motorists can travel safely - Know Before You Go. ODOT's Web site BuckeyeTraffic.org provides up-to-the-minute information on road and weather conditions, road closures, and highway patrol accident updates - all available 24-hours a day, seven days a week.

The record calendar day of snowfall was broken for February yesterday with 11.4 inches and Saturday's snowfall has already broken the Feb. 6 snowfall record with 9.7 inches.