LIMA — Welcome back, winter. Where have you been?
A predicted snowstorm struck parts of northwest and west central Ohio Saturday, leaving roads snow covered, slick and hazardous, giving us our first real taste of winter weather.
“Generally, about 2 to 4 inches of snow has fallen so far from the storm. We have a couple of reports — 4 inches in Van Wert, 2.8 inches in Scott, in Paulding County. Celina in Mercer County has picked up 4 inches. Wapakoneta in Auglaize County has picked up 3. It’s been a pretty solid 2 to 4 that has fallen so far, [as of 7 p.m. Saturday] you’re probably going to end up with a few more inches, so you may end up with 4 to 6 before this storm’s all said and done,” said Bob Smerbeck, senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.
A Winter Weather Advisory is set to remain in effect until 3 a.m. Sunday, with expected snow accumulations of anywhere from 2 to 5 inches in and close to the advisory area, which included portions of northern Indiana and northwest Ohio.
Between noon and 3 p.m., Lima police responded to five accidents and at least a couple of hit-skip accidents.
“Just slow down. Slow down way before any stop sign or traffic signals so you’re not sliding across the intersection and just maintain a good stopping distance from the other vehicle in front of you is really the biggest thing,” said Lima Police Ptl. Adrian Ramirez.
By late afternoon, Allen County Sheriff Matt Treglia issued a Level 1 Roadway Advisory, which warned motorists that “Allen County roadways are snow or ice covered with possible drifting. Driving conditions are hazardous. Extreme caution is advised.” Shortly thereafter, Putnam County Sheriff Brian Siefker also issued a Level 1 Roadway Advisory. Just after 7:30 p.m., Treglia increased the advisory to Level 2, which indicates that “all roadways in Allen County are extremely dangerous due to heavy, drifting or blowing snow,” according to a release. Motorists were strongly encouraged to stay off the roads unless there was an “extreme necessity” or special equipment was used to help maintain control on the roads.
The wintry conditions also postponed numerous activities Saturday night, including several basketball games. Elida was scheduled to travel to Piqua, but that game has been rescheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m. The Science Olympiad trip was canceled for Miller City-New Cleveland students and the Redskin Revue was canceled in Wapakoneta.
Southern counties in the region received more snow than Lima was expected to receive. Counties south of Darke County were under a Winter Storm Warning with expected snowfall between 2 and 4 inches.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409