AKRON-- Summit County braced itself and prepared for blizzard-like conditions, Wednesday.
The Public Works Bureau was monitoring the weather reports, which forecasted a foot of snow or more.
In advance of the storm, state and city crews began spreading brine and salt on the major interstates.
But when the snow started Wednesday morning, conditions quickly deteriorated.
The snow was falling at a rate of about an inch per hour.
Most government buildings and many businesses closed early and the county declared a “Snow Emergency.”
Roadways were deemed hazardous with blowing and drifting snow and people were encouraged to stay home and only go out if it was an emergency.
Workers were also told to call their employers before reporting for duty.
“We have our full complement of 51 trucks out and we’re working around the clock since the snow started,” said Robert Patrick, Deputy Director of the Akron Public Works Bureau.
Mr. Patrick says the storm wasn’t nearly as bad as the original forecast predicted.
They report only 4 to 6 inches of snow on the ground with another inch expected by midnight and then a trace after that.
But the Snow Emergency Parking Ban will remain in effect until Saturday morning at 6 a.m. to give the plows room to work.
Most primary roadways including S.R. 77 were passable by Wednesday night, but secondary streets were still snow covered and dangerous.
“It’s pretty crazy,” said Shannon Tighe.
People seemed surprised by the snow, because the weather has been so mild this fall and last winter there really wasn’t a lot of the white stuff.
“I love it,” exclaimed Ms. Tighe, “I don’t like driving in it but I like playing in it.”
The Public Works Bureau suggests people put on their hazard lights, if they slide off the road or become stuck in the snow. Mr. Patrick said people should pull off to the side of the road as far as they can and stay inside the vehicle until help arrives.
This may be a bad storm system, but it’s only the first.
And winter can become a very long season for Ohioans living in or near the snowbelt.
“But I think this is pretty cool,” said April Thomas, as she scraped the snow and ice off of her car.
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