|By Tuesday, temperatures should reach 60 degrees|
Staff Photo by Charles Boothe:
Snow is piled up in parking lots around town as businesses get ready for customers Friday morning. Last week’s storm dumped nearly 17 inches of snow on Franklin County.
Monday, February 17, 2014
By CHARLES BOOTHE - Staff Writer
A massive snowstorm paralyzed the region last week, dumping nearly 17 inches of the white stuff in some areas of Franklin County.
The storm hit with a fury Wednesday afternoon, quickly making driving hazardous and closing many businesses and government offices early.
U.S. 220 was clogged in both north and southbound lanes with vehicles sliding off the road and tractor-trailers having difficulty climbing hills.
Some vehicles were abandoned as road crews tried to keep up with the heavy snow.
The National Weather Service said most areas received about 13 inches Wednesday, with another 3 inches falling Thursday.
The official total for the Rocky Mount area was 16.5 inches, according to the NWS.
Postal service was canceled Thursday and many businesses were struggling to open. Distribution of the Friday edition of the News-Post was also delayed.
Officials with the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia State Police advised residents to stay home and off the roads.
Franklin County Public Safety declared a state of emergency Wednesday, also urging people to stay off the roads.
The Virginia State Police and Franklin County Sheriff's Office responded to 50 accidents, mostly minor, and 60 calls for disabled vehicles from 1 p.m. Wednesday to noon Friday, according to Lt. Phillip Young with the sheriff's office. About 75 percent of those calls were on Wednesday when motorists were attempting to get home.
Emergency officials also responded to most of the accidents and calls for service Wednesday, but Thursday, motorists stayed at home for the most part allowing crews to clear streets without obstructions, according to Capt. of Operations Billy Ferguson.
Temperatures held steady above freezing during the daylight hours over the weekend, with wet roads refreezing at night with temperatures in the 20s.
By the middle of this week, however, highs will be approaching the 60-degree mark.