LIMA — Though a major snowfall is unusual for this time of year, children and adults in the region welcomed the snow before it melts away for the season.
Chris Richards took his daughters Payton, 8, and Rylan, 7, near the Bresler Reservoir to go sledding Monday morning.
“It’s our first time sledding out here all year,” said Richards, 39, of Uniopolis. A snow removal side job prevented him from taking his daughters out before. This time though, “I got done early enough to come out,” he said.
The girls certainly enjoyed it, going down the hill 10 or 15 times in a 45-minute span. Payton’s cheeks were beginning to get rosy after awhile.
“I need some hot chocolate,” she said, trudging back up the hill for one more ride.
“We got it in the truck,” her father told her.
Across the street from the Bresler Reservoir in the cornfields, two snowmobiles sped by. Longtime friends Dan Maitlen and Jason Peterson spent much of the snow day on their snowmobiles; they expect it's the last time they’ll use them this season. They took a quick lunch break at Maitlen’s home.
“We’re waiting for our gloves to dry out in the dryer,” said Maitlen, 43, of Lima. “This is going to be it, I’m sure.”
Cancellations and records
More than 40 school districts throughout the region had cancellations Monday because of the spring snow. At Lima City Schools, it was the sixth cancellation of the year, meaning the district has run out of its five built-in snow days and a makeup day will be used.
“We do have to make the day up. That makes our last day of school to May 31st for the kids,” said Jill Ackerman, Lima City Schools superintendent. “We had some wind chill days that maybe other schools did not have. That was why we used so many.”
For Ottawa-Glandorf Schools, Monday marked the fourth cancellation of the school year. Therefore, the school schedule will remain unchanged from the snow.
Ottawa-Glandorf Superintendent Kevin Brinkman said school was cancelled Thursday because of the state basketball tournament. Because of the sport-related cancellation, that school day will be made up Wednesday, which originally was the beginning of spring break. Ottawa-Glandorf students will have Thursday through Monday off for spring break.
According to the National Weather Service, Allen County residents saw 6 to 6.5 inches of snow Sunday night into Monday. In Auglaize County, communities had anywhere from 4 to 10 inches of snow. Wapakoneta had 5 inches of snow; New Bremen had 10.
In Allen County, it was the fifth-biggest March snowfall on record, only surpassed by 9.5 inches of snow in 1968, two 8-inch snow days in 1906 and 7 inches of snow in 1949.
Many cities broke snow records for March 25, including Columbus, which accumulated 3 inches Monday, and Fort Wayne, Ind.
More snow, more fun
Children also gathered at Faurot Park with their sleds in tow Monday. A few little boys were using their round sleds as shields during a snowball fight.
Elizabeth Austin took her five children to the park to have some fun in the snow. While most of her kids made their way up the hill with their sleds, Austin stayed bundled up at a nearby pavilion with a fireplace.
“I brought them out here so they can wear themselves out,” said Austin, 31, of Lima, with a chuckle.
Her 7-year-old son Zaheim warmed his hands near the fire as his siblings continued to play. When asked if he liked that school was cancelled today, he meekly nodded.
Sliding down the hill was his favorite part, Zaheim said.
In Minster, Carol Feldman kept close tabs on the snow, measuring it from her home Sunday night into Monday morning.
“I just went out to measure it, and since 6 p.m. (Sunday) night… we’ve had six inches of snow,” Feldman said Monday. “It’s still coming.”
Light flurries were expected to continue into today,but not with any major additional accumulation, a National Weather Service spokesperson said.