As the snow starts to melt, meteorologists are determining the threat of flooding, Axford said.
"We're currently assessing the flooding risk -- mainly over the weekend. We do have up to 3 feet of snow in the mountains, and this weekend's forecast, even though there's not much in the way of precipitation, it will depend on how quickly things heat up and how fast the snow melts," he said. "If it all melts at once we could be looking at some flooding."
In the Kanawha Valley, flooding doesn't seem to be a threat, according to Axford, who said the rain has been steady rather than a heavy downpour.
West Virginia was hit by unexpectedly heavy snowfall Monday and Tuesday as the storm system stalled over the state. School was canceled in at least 16 counties Wednesday, and at least 14 counties were operating on a delayed school schedule.
School systems canceled today are: Barbour, Boone, Braxton, Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Nicholas, Pendleton, Pocahontas, Preston, Raleigh, Randolph, Upshur and Webster. Some schools in Grant and Lewis counties are also canceled.
Emergency shelters remained open throughout the night in Kanawha County and approximately 35 people used the shelters.
Emergency overnight shelters will be open for those without power at the following locations:
* Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Sissonville
* Salvation Army at Roane and Tennessee avenues in Charleston
* Hansford Senior Center in St. Albans
People staying at shelters should try to bring the following items: prescription and emergency medication, extra clothing, pillows, blankets, hygiene supplies, flashlights with extra batteries, small board games, books, specialty snacks and juices for dietary restrictions, basic snacks, baby food and formula, diapers, chairs, identification and insurance papers.
Sayre said that pets are allowed at shelters, but they must be in crates.
Fitzwater said the hardest-hit areas in the state were Tucker and Nicholas counties.
"That would be the ground zero of the storm, but of course many other counties have quite a bit of problems as well," she said.
Kanawha county officials said the Emergency Operations Center is open and able to take non-emergency calls, including providing information about power outages and shelters. Call 304-756-8748 or 304-746-8743. Officials urged residents to call 911 only in the event of an actual emergency.
County officials again reminded drivers that a non-working traffic light is to be treated as a four-way stop sign.
The West Virginia Department of Transportation said anyone with a downed tree in their area should call their local district office of the DOT. District numbers can be found at http://www.transportation.wv.gov/highways/districts/Pages/default.aspx.
State parks, forest closed
Damage from Sandy also prompted state officials to close 17 state parks and forests, but most were expected to reopen by the weekend, as park staff, volunteers and contractors make repairs.
"One-inch to 2-feet of snow has covered about 70 percent of our state parks and forests," said State Parks and Recreation Chief Ken Caplinger. "Most areas have also received extensive rainfall and varying degrees of wind, which in turn resulted in many fallen trees that caused even more damage."
State parks that closed on Wednesday due to damage from Sandy include Audra, Babcock, Berkeley Springs, Blackwater Falls, Bluestone, Cacapon, Canaan Valley, Carnifex Ferry, Hawks Nest, Holly River, Stonewall, Twin Falls and Valley Falls. State forests closed by storm damage were Cabwaylingo, Coopers Rock, Kanawha and Kumbrabow.
Caplinger urged visitors to call parks with an "iffy" operational status, including Cass Scenic Railroad, Cathedral, Droop Mountain, Little Beaver, Moncove Lake, Watters Smith state parks, and Seneca State Forest.
Remaining open on Wednesday but without power were Cedar Creek State Park and Greenbrier State Forest, while Beech Fork State Park was open but operating with partial power.
Several parks traditionally close for the season on Nov. 1, including Beartown and Blennerhassett Island.
Caplinger said visitors planning to visit a specific state park with lodges or cabins should call the park directly to learn about current conditions and availability.
Staff writers Kathryn Gregory, Rick Steelhammer and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Reach Rusty Marks at rustyma...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1215.
Reach Kate White at kate.wh...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-1716.