(COLUMBUS, Ohio) The Ohio Emergency Management Agency (EMA) continues to monitor the winter storm that is impacting Ohio. As this is a dangerous weather system, the Ohio EMA, Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) are working together to provide midday status updates throughout the weekend to heighten awareness of critical issues.
“ODOT, the Ohio Turnpike, the Ohio State Highway Patrol, and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency have been working non-stop since the winter storm began to clear the roads and assist motorists. Thanks to all who have heeded the warnings about the extreme weather and have stayed home,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Please continue to monitor the weather, the snow emergency levels in your county, and the road conditions before considering going. We want everyone to have a safe holiday weekend.”
The information below was valid as of Friday, December 23, 2022 at 1 p.m. EST.
The information in this status update is rapidly changing and information may not be accurate beyond the date/time listed.
The Winter Weather System continues to move across the state producing snow, high winds, and freezing temperatures. Multiple temperature (wind chill) readings of -37F and -38F have been recorded north of US-30. Wind gusts up to 60 MPH were also recorded this morning.
White-out conditions are being reported across the state. Winter Storm and Wind Chill Advisories and Warnings remain in effect for much of Ohio through Saturday 12/24. Additional snow is expected today through 12/24 in parts of northern and eastern Ohio. Locally heavy lake effect snow and blizzard conditions possible in lake effect areas. The NWS has issued a Blizzard Warning through 4:00 AM Saturday 12/24/22 for the following counties: Cuyahoga, Lake, Ashtabula, Geauga.
- Statewide Power outages continue. Estimated times of restoration (ETR) vary statewide.
- Strong winds have caused power outages, fallen tree limbs, and minor structural damage.
- Wind gusts: 60 mph wind gust were measured in Eastern OH; 72 MPH gust in Erie County.
- Wind Chill:
- -37F at Findlay in Hancock Co
- -37F at Sandusky Co Regional Airport
- -38F at Ashland in Ashland Co
- -37F at Brunswick, Medina Co
- Multiple counties have declared snow emergencies up to and including level 3.
- Multiple vehicle accidents have been reported throughout Ohio today, in addition to local traffic impacts.
- Local public transportation services are competing with hazardous conditions. Reduced speed limit areas are in effect in eastern areas on the Ohio Turnpike.
- Drifting snow and reduced visibility are causing hazardous driving conditions.
- Air travel is being affected.
- Ohio EMA regional staff continue to report traffic incidents in their areas of operation.
- White out conditions are causing vehicle crashes throughout the state.
- Wind Chill:
- Strong wind delaying restoration process of power outages.
- Several interstates and roadways experiencing lane closures due to disabled vehicles and vehicle accidents.
- Very cold temperatures are impacting the ability of road salt to be effective.
- Watches, Warnings, and Advisories remain in effect for much of the state.
Ohio Emergency Management Agency/State Emergency Operations Center Actions
- The State EOC will be at Assessment & Monitoring for the duration of this event.
- The Ohio EMA Watch Office continues to monitor the state of power outages and ETR’s, currently utility companies are working around the clock responding to outage statewide.
- County EMAs are encouraged to share any county level coordination efforts and/or support needs in addition to any impacts related to the incident.
- State partners are encouraged to carry out any necessary intra-emergency support function planning and discussions, in addition to reviewing roles in the Emergency Operations Plan.
Ohio State Highway Patrol Actions
- The Patrol continues to utilize all available resources to assist motorists on Ohio’s roadways.
- There have been numerous temporary road closures as a result of jackknifed commercial trucks, downed power lines and crashes. Currently, there are roadways that will be closed for an extended period of time.
- Since 8:00 a.m. yesterday, the Patrol has handled over 300 crashes and assisted over 1200 motorists.
- If you find yourself stranded and needing assistance, please dial #677 and a trooper will be dispatched to your location. In an emergency exists dial 9-1-1.
Ohio Department of Transportation Actions
- A section of the Ohio Turnpike near milepost marker 106 in Sandusky County is closed due to a multiple vehicle crash. The crash occurred due to white out conditions. That section of the turnpike is closed. The parallel SR 2 in adjacent Erie County is closed due to a severe injury accident. With both roadways currently closed, traffic will likely divert to US 20.
- ODOT has roughly 1,500 plows out at any given time and 3,000 employees assigned to snow & ice operations.
- Crews are mixing salt with additives to make it more effective in freezing temperatures. Regular salt is much less effective when temperatures drop below 20.
- ODOT crews will work 12 hour shifts until the weather passes and roads are cleared… including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
- While conditions continue, drivers can expect conditions to be passable, but not perfect. ODOT continues to advise Ohioans to be aware of road conditions before you go out and plan that your trip will take longer than it usually does.
- A limited number of counties have indicated opening their EOC for monitoring purposes at this time.
- Warming shelters are open in numerous local jurisdictions across the state.
The next update will be distributed on Saturday, December 24, 2022 at 2 p.m. EST.