CINCINNATI (AP) — Ohioans were warned to prepare for single-digit temperatures and wind chills below zero as snowfall that caused hazardous road conditions in many areas moved out of the state on Tuesday.
Overnight snowfall led to slow morning commutes on hazardous roads, with many sheriffs issuing road advisories and some school districts canceling or delaying classes. Authorities reported numerous traffic accidents across the state.
A State Highway Patrol trooper was among four people injured when a woman lost control of her car on a slick highway in Clermont County and struck a police cruiser. The trooper, the woman and her two children were treated and released from a hospital, Lt. Kevin Long said.
Some continuing snow was possible along Lake Erie, but the system that brought 3 to 5 inches to parts of the state was moving out of Ohio ahead of the frigid temperatures.
School closings brought up bad memories of last year’s severe winter, when many districts canceled classes for two weeks or more.
“I thought, ‘Oh my gosh, are we going to have another 2½ months of school closings and figuring out what to do about child care?’” said Jennifer Fought, the mother of a second-grader in Toledo.
The heaviest snowfall was in a band stretching from west-central to southeast Ohio, where some areas received as much as 4 to 6 inches, said Mike Kurz, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service’s Wilmington office. He said temperatures would continue dropping overnight.
The forecast for Wednesday night into Thursday called for even colder conditions, with temperatures below zero for most of the state and wind chills possibly as low as 20 to 30 below zero.
Duke Energy in southwestern Ohio said it was prepared for increased demand, but advised customers to check supplies of flashlights, batteries, bottled water and medicines. Columbia Gas Of Ohio in central Ohio warned customers not to use ovens or ranges to heat homes.
Hardware store owner Stanley Beck is not seeing much of a run yet on cold weather supplies despite the frigid forecasts.
“Last year, we had trouble getting heaters, plumbing parts and salt, so we ordered way in advance this year,” said the owner of Beck Paint and Hardware in the Cincinnati neighborhood of Walnut Hills. “But it looks more like wait-and-see now, with people wanting to see what happens first.”
Al-Joe’s Pet and Garden Center in Hamilton, about 30 miles north of Cincinnati, has been selling more bedding for outside dogs and cats and receiving more calls for residential snow removal, owner Gary Grollmus said.
“They want to get it off before it turns into a solid sheet of ice,” Grollmus said.