|Snowfall leaves roadways slick, closes schools|
|Wednesday, March 06, 2013 1:49 PM|
Most of Ohio was under winter storm warnings or advisories through this morning.
Sleet began falling early Tuesday afternoon as temperatures hovered around freezing. Sleet turned into snow with consistent heavy snow falling by 8 p.m.
“The storm came in a little later than anticipated but once it got going, we saw sleet in many areas,” Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy said. “The east side of Van Wert County saw quite a bit of ice. An inch and a half of snow fell by 9 o’clock Tuesday night. This storm was putting down heavy snow fall rates at this point.”
A strong low pressure system began moving through the Ohio Valley and continued to pour snow on Northern Indiana and Northwest Ohio, including the Tri-county area Tuesday night. Snow was strong at times bringing up to an inch of snow an hour. The heaviest snowfall lasted from 8 p.m. to about 2 a.m. and when Winter Storm Saturn concluded this morning, the area saw as much as 5-8 inches. Southern and central Ohio got the brunt of the major storm, which had swept down from Minnesota and Wisconsin and barreled through the Midwest on its way to Washington.
Officials in central Ohio advised people to stay home if possible. Authorities were responding to scores of accidents on Columbus and Cincinnati interstate highways, some caused by tractor-trailer trucks that jack-knifed on roadways blanketed by the dense, wet snow.
Power outages in some areas darkened traffic lights, slowing morning commuters even more.
Airlines canceled dozens of flights at the Cincinnati, Cleveland and Columbus airports late Tuesday and today, many of them to or from Chicago and other Midwest cities hit by the storm. Hundreds of flights have been canceled nationwide.
The fluffy, wet snow will soon turn into slushy muck, though, as forecasters are predicting rising temperatures later in the week. Most of the snow should be gone by the weekend in much of the state.