CHARLESTON, WVa. — West Virginia Division of Highways maintenance crews in the Eastern Panhandle had to do a quick change Monday.

During an unusual April snow storm, crews pivoted from milling and filling potholes to emergency snow and ice removal.

Unexpectedly heavy snow began falling in the Eastern Panhandle counties of Berkeley, Grant, Hampshire, Hardy, Jefferson, Mineral, and Morgan counties during the day Monday. Forecasters had been calling for some snow – maybe one to three inches in the mountains – but WVDOH District 5 Maintenance Engineer Travis Ray, P.E., said it snowed harder than had been predicted.

“It hit suddenly and went from a rainy type of precipitation to huge chunks of snow,” Ray said. “It wasn’t even snowflakes.”

Ray said every county in the panhandle got snow.

A press release from the department recalls how maintenance crews quickly switched from their planned operations filling potholes to snow removal. They mounted snowplows back onto their dump trucks and switched over to hauling salt instead of asphalt.

Monday evening dumped several inches of snow in the mountains. But by Tuesday, April 19, 2022, roads had been cleared and the snow was melting off. Maintenance crews were still clearing some roads in the higher elevations.

Panhandle work crews are used to getting some snow well into April, but Ray said it was unusual to get this much snow so late in the season.