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High winds, snow makes morning commute treacherous

Coupled with high winds that gusted at times in excess of 40 mph, only a few inches of snowfall was needed to create hazardous road conditions and cancel area schools overnight and through this morning.

 

Logan County Sheriff Andrew J. Smith declared a Level 1 snow emergency about 6 a.m. today, which remained in effect at press time. 

wintery-mess

Tight mess — A trucker driver didn’t get very far today after his tractor-trailer was repaired at Auburn Avenue and Main Street. Stranded by a broken air hose, the semi blocked traffic along the northbound U.S. Route 68 bypass. Bellefontaine Police Officer Roger Hager placed his cruiser at the intersection to control traffic during the repairs. The truck driver tried to get under way but could not get traction on the snow-covered roadway, so he tried to back up. He thought Officer Hager had driven off and ended backing into the cruiser. Damage was light. Deputies of the Logan County Sheriff’s Office are handling the crash report. (Examiner Photo/Joel E. Mast)

Area schools that had not already dismissed for Christmas break each canceled classes today, including Indian Lake, Calvary Christian, Riverside, Jackson Center, Upper Scioto Valley, Graham, Triad, West Liberty-Salem and Mechanicsburg.

Road crews from the Logan County Engineer’s Office and the local Ohio Department of Transportation garage were out overnight and through the early morning hours plowing and treating snow-covered roadways.

“Open areas along flat stretches of pavement were actually pretty clear because the snow just drifts right across,” Logan County Engineer Scott Coleman said. “Stretches where there was woods on both sides have some snow accumulation and buildup.”

County crews were called in shortly after 4 a.m. and were on the road by 5:30, Mr. Coleman said. 

ODOT trucks were called in about midnight and remained on the roadways throughout the morning. By 9 a.m., 15 ODOT trucks were out treating the roads, transportation manager Ted Hemleben said.

“It was pretty nasty out there for awhile, with near-zero visibility,” he said. “There were some icy patches caused by thawing and refreezing, but hopefully those will melt away as the temperature warms up.”

Neither department was able to lay down any kind of pre-treatment because of steady rains and sustained high winds, the officials reported. 

Sheriff’s office dispatchers reported that at 7:30 a.m. today, 18 reports had been received from motorists who had slid off local roadways.

A few of the reports involved actual accidents, including one logged at U.S. Route 33 and State Route 347 this morning, but the majority of incidents involved motorists who were stuck in a ditch and needed assistance. 

 

Troopers of the Marysville Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol reported similar occurrences, logging some slide-offs in various areas of U.S. Route 33, but no major injury accidents. 

 

 

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