Ohio gets more snow, hazardous driving conditions

DAN SEWELL Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Many Ohioans are starting to get a break from the snow, but brutal cold is coming right behind.

There was scattered snowfall Sunday and central and southeast Ohio roads were under snow emergency conditions urging caution or avoiding unnecessary driving. After new snow of 2 to 8 inches in much of the state Saturday, Sunday's forecasts called for smaller amounts as temperatures began plummeting. Many areas were expected to be in low single digits or below zero overnight, with gusting winds slapping Ohioans with wind chills of minus-20 degrees or worse in the mornings ahead this week.

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.

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 several accidents involving multiple vehicles across Ohio on Saturday, including one that shut down part of the Ohio Turnpike in Erie County in the state's northern edge.

Two Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies were injured Saturday along Interstate 71 in Cincinnati as they were trying to help a driver whose car had become disabled after sliding off. Deputies Eric Kidd and Tony Lipps were outside their vehicle when another motorist lost control of his own vehicle.

Kidd was injured diving into the roadway, while Lipps was injured diving over a guardrail. They were hospitalized in stable condition as was a Kentucky woman in another vehicle. The driver who struck their car was cited for failure to maintain reasonable control and driving a vehicle unworthy for the road because of extremely low tire tread, the sheriff's office said.