Temperatures expected to drop to single digits

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 17, 2003

Travelers across Lawrence County may have had a case of deja vu Thursday night and today as the Tri-State was hit with the second winter storm of the week.

Before a single snow flake fell in the county, many area schools were dismissed at noon Thursday as a precautionary measure.

All local elementary and secondary schools were closed today.

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The powdery snow began falling around 5 p.m. Thursday and quickly blanketed the area.

Alan Rezek, meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Charleston, said the worst of this system hit south of the Tri-State but still brought 1 to 3 inches in Lawrence County. Flurries may continue today, but the frigid temperatures may pose more of a problem.

"Cold will be the name of the game tonight," he said. "We are looking for temperatures to drop nearly to single digits."

Rezek said the temperatures are 10 to 20 degrees colder than normal because we are receiving a steady flow of northern air from Canada.

Considering the low temperatures, Bill Patrick, transportation manager for the Ohio Department of Transportation, said things went pretty well.

ODOT had 14 crews out from 4 p.m. Thursday to midnight, 12 crews from midnight to 7 a.m. and will run 10 crews all day today to do cleanup and wipe out cold spots.

"This is the only snow I can remember we did not have any complaints from the public," he joked. "People understand that with the temperature so low it was a little more difficult."

Patrick said they used pure salt and liquid calcium because it works better in below freezing temperatures.

As of 9 a.m., 75 to 85 percent of the roads were clear, even the second and third priority roads, he said.

Only a few accidents were reported by area law enforcement agencies.

The Ironton Police Department did not report any accidents and attributed that to people staying home.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol Ironton Post 44 reported two accidents, one on Township Road 102 (Little Ice Creek) and the other on State Route 217 in Rome Township. Only minor injuries were reported in both.

Looking ahead, the forecast calls for extremely cold temperatures to continue and travelers should prepare for another system Saturday night or Sunday that may add an inch or two, Rezek said.