Created on Monday, 06 January 2014 Written by NATE SMITH
Sub-zero temperatures are making it nearly impossible for crews to clear the roads of ice-and-snow pack leftover from a winter storm that hampered traffic and closed all schools scheduled to be in session and some businesses today.
FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Snow collects on the limbs of a briar patch today alongside snow-covered Township Road 179. Snowfall stuck to layers of ice resulting from freezing rainfall, Logan County Highway Department reports. At press time, Logan County Sheriff Andrew J. Smith had issued a Level 1 snow emergency. Schools and several area businesses are closed and residents are encouraged to venture out only if they must. ABOVE: Icicles hang from the edge of the fountain in front of the Logan County Courthouse today. Sunday rainfall left a layer of ice that has combined with frigid temperatures and snowfall to make for very hazardous conditions. (EXAMINER PHOTOS | NATE SMITH)
Rain fell most of Sunday afternoon, and as overnight temperatures plummeted, a few inches of snow fell on top of a fresh layer of ice, said Joel Miracle with the Logan County Engineer’s Office.
Logan County Sheriff Andrew J. Smith issued a Level 1 snow emergency about 10:15 p.m. Sunday. That’s about the time county highway crews made their way into work to begin a 16-hour shift.
A secondary crew was to report later this afternoon, the highway department reports.
“It was about 32 degrees at 6 p.m. when rain started to give way to snow,” Mr. Miracle said. “The temperature has dropped from 32 at 6 last night to -7 degrees (Fahrenheit) this morning.”
High winds have prompted wind chill warnings, as forecasters predict the air could feel as cold as -40 degrees Fahrenheit.
High winds have also caused severe drifting, making travel hazardous.
As crews work to clear the roads, they’re operating at a disadvantage.
“The material our trucks put down really only works in 12 degrees and up,” Mr. Miracle said. “That ice pack on the roads is going to be there until it thaws out.”
The worst of the conditions are to the northwestern parts of the county, Mr. Miracle said.
Several northern counties have already issued Level 2 and 3 snow emergencies.
A Level 3 snow emergency in Hancock County, where the Examiner is printed, caused temporary disruption of Examiner delivery service.
Crews with the local Ohio Department of Transportation garage are out in full force working 12-hour shifts, that garage confirmed this morning. ODOT recommends motorists only travel if they absolutely have to.
Warmer temperatures are expected by Wednesday.
A motorist operating a pickup truck navigates a snow-and-ice covered County Road 10 this morning.