Up to 11 inches of snow expected

Published 1:04 pm Sunday, December 26, 2010

Snowy Nansemond River scene

Reader Cathy McEntire snapped this photo of the Nansemond River near the downtown area on Sunday.

A snowstorm that began Christmas night is expected to dump up to 11 inches in Suffolk, a National Weather Service meteorologist said Sunday.

“As far as total snow, we’re looking in the Suffolk area about 10 to 11 inches,” said Lyle Alexander, a meteorologist in the weather service’s Wakefield office.

Suffolk officials were urging people to stay off the road, if possible. The city’s Emergency Operations Center opened with limited activation at 8 a.m. Sunday.

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“Public Works road crews are currently fully staffed and have been on the roads since 7 last night, but the steady snow is hampering road clearing efforts,” city spokeswoman Debbie George said in a press release.

George said 20 accidents were reported in a three-hour stretch between 5 and 8 a.m. Staying off the roads is important to allow Public Works crews to do their job, she added.

Alexander said the snow should be ending Sunday evening.
“The snow’s going to be winding down around 6 o’clock this evening,” Alexander said. “There’s still going to be probably another inch overnight tonight.”

Monday’s forecast includes only a few flurries, Alexander added. No Monday accumulation is expected.

Alexander said the area is getting a few more inches than expected because the process that creates snow is “more efficient than expected.”

In an email, Suffolk Public Schools spokeswoman Bethanne Bradshaw said all Monday activities have been canceled.