Created on Monday, 27 January 2014 Written by DAN SEWELL, Associated Press
CINCINNATI (AP) — Ohioans were facing a one-two punch from winter weather Sunday, with more snow over the weekend soon giving way to a new pounding by bitter cold.
Ohioans warned about wind as temperatures plummet
BRYAN, Ohio (AP) — Schools are closing, driving is restricted and emergency agencies are urging Ohioans to heed safety warnings amid another deep freeze.
The National Weather Service put most of Ohio under a wind chill warning Monday as temperatures dropped and forecasters predicted wind chills well below zero into Tuesday. They warned of wind gusts reaching 35 to 45 mph, with blizzard conditions in some rural areas.
The Ohio Turnpike banned certain large vehicles and trailers from the toll road Monday morning because of high wind.
Paulding and Williams counties in northwest Ohio were under snow emergencies closing roads to everyone except emergency workers. Dozens more counties had lower-level snow emergencies for hazardous roads, asking people to avoid driving if possible.
Akron, Cleveland, Cincinnati and Toledo were among the largest school districts closed.
There was scattered snowfall Sunday, with some areas likely to pick up another inch or two Sunday night. After new snow of 2 to 8 inches in much of the state Saturday, Sunday's forecasts called for smaller amounts ahead of plummeting temperatures. Many areas were expected to be in low single digits, with gusting winds slapping Ohioans with wind chills of minus-20 degrees or worse in the mornings ahead this week.
The National Weather Service issued wind chill warnings for much of the state beginning Monday, meaning dangerous cold ahead. The forecasts said much of central and western Ohio could get wind chill readings of 25 to 35 below zero Monday night and Tuesday morning. Temperatures in the Cleveland area could be well below zero early this week, with wind chills below zero expected to begin Sunday night and Monday. The unusually frigid weather is expected to grip most of the state into Thursday.
WHIO TV reported several vehicle collisions and slide-off crashes in western and southwest Ohio on Sunday. It reported several people were taken to hospitals after the crash of semi tractor-trailer and car on Interstate 75 near I-70. The Ohio State Highway Patrol said two people were killed in a two-vehicle crash in Defiance County in northwest Ohio, but it wasn't known immediately whether weather was a factor.
No utility outages were reported Sunday in the small southwest Ohio city of Trenton, where power losses Saturday left thousands in the dark and cold for hours. The city opened an emergency warming center Saturday evening.
Just to the north of that Butler County city, hundreds of customers in the Germantown area of Montgomery County had outages early Sunday after a car crash knocked out power.
Many counties were under snow emergencies for hazardous driving conditions Sunday.
In Franklin County, where some motorists in the state capital of Columbus were caught in "white-out" driving conditions Saturday, the sheriff's office raised the snow emergency Sunday from Level 1 to Level 2. That meant that instead of being urged to use caution while driving, residents were told to avoid any unnecessary driving because of hazardous conditions of blowing and drifting snow. Authorities also wanted to keep drivers away to allow crews to clear streets.
There were multi-vehicle accidents across Ohio on Saturday, one on the Ohio Turnpike in Erie County along the state's northern edge. Two Hamilton County deputies were hurt in the Cincinnati area on Saturday after a driver lost control of his vehicle while they were outside trying to help a stranded motorist.