UPDATE: Travel remains treacherous Friday morning - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Travel remains treacherous Friday morning

Posted:

BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - Motorists who have to travel Friday morning were urged to use caution as conditions from Thursday's winter storm left roadways hazardous.

Black ice and lingering snow could remain on roadways.

VDOT offered the following update on I-77:

I-77 Northbound is open in Bland County and traffic is no longer backed up from an accident that was cleared around 4 a.m.

Southbound I-77 remains blocked at mile marker 56 due to a tractor-trailer incident. The wrecker service and plow trucks are working together to remove the tractor trailers that are no able to get up the mountain. It is anticipated the lanes will be open around daybreak. Traffic is backed up approximately six miles.

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BLUEFIELD (WVVA) - Roads became treacherous quickly Thursday as rain changed to snow, stranding motorists and stalling traffic across the Two Virginias.

More than a foot of snow fell in a matter of hours -- primarily in the southern part of the WVVA viewing area.

Snow began falling heavily in Bluefield around 1 p.m. and fell steadily until around 7 p.m. Winter Storm Warnings were set to expire in the early morning hours Friday.

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Dozens of accidents and stalled vehicles were reported. Major highways such as Route 460 and Interstate 77 were either partially or completely shut down at various times and locations into Thursday night as road crews worked to plow snow that re-covered roads almost as quickly as it was removed.

How to check the latest road conditions

Days of rain left a sheet of ice underneath the snow on many roadways, making travel especially hazardous.

Motorists on I-77 in Mercer and Bland counties reported being stuck in slow-moving traffic for hours.

In Bland, I-77 was shut down at Big Walker Mountain Tunnel.

Thursday's snow was mostly wet and heavy, which can sit on trees and power lines -- making the possibility of power outages great.

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The Virginia counties in WVVA's viewing area were hit especially hard by power outages, with thousands of customers in Bland, Giles, Wythe and Buchanan counties without service according to AEP.com's outage map.

At least one shelter was set up -- at the Bland Rescue Squad -- for those without electricity.

Travel was expected to still be treacherous for the Friday morning commute. Many schools in the region have already canceled classes.

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