CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — All 55 West Virginia counties remain under a state of emergency as Governor Jim Justice and his team keep an eye on this severe winter storm.

With swirling snow from high winds to plummeting temperatures and dangerous icy conditions, not many people were out and about Friday, Dec. 23, 2022. Many, no doubt, heeding the pleas to stay home if they really didn’t have any pressing travel plans. Meanwhile at the Capitol Complex, the Emergency Operations Center was fully manned and ready to send help where needed.

“Everybody’s working, Mark. Everybody’s all hands on deck right now, because this thing could be pretty tough. I mean that’s all there is to it. It’s going to get awfully, awfully cold. And you know if the power goes out, you know we’re going to have people in trouble,” said Justice.

Originally the governor issued a half-day off for state employees Friday. But when the storm’s intensity was apparent yesterday, he declared it a full-day holiday. Emergency and essential workers, however, still had to come in to respond to the storm.

“Homeland Security and our highways department, and Emergency Management. Everybody’s working. Everybody’s working on it and so, we’re going to stay on it to ensure that our people are safe. But take heed, you know, and be safe and look after your neighbors,” Justice said.

The governor says the Emergency Management Division is conducting twice-a-day virtual briefings with the National Weather Service to keep a handle on changing conditions and responding accordingly.