Sub-zero temperatures hit Ohio

Published 11:18 am Monday, December 22, 2008

Temperatures plunged into the single digits and lower across the state on Monday, and thousands of customers shivered in homes without power because of tree limbs brought down by high winds that accompanied the cold snap.

By 6 a.m. Monday, temperatures had dropped to 1 degree in Toledo, 6 in Cincinnati, 3 in Columbus and zero in Dayton, the National Weather Service reported. Wind chill warnings and advisories were issued for nearly every county in Ohio because of brisk conditions making the temperatures feel like double digits below zero. Winds gusted to 41 mph on Sunday in Lima and 40 mph in Findlay, said meteorologist Laura Kanofsky.

‘‘It’s zero or below zero across northwest Ohio,’’ Kanofsky said. ‘‘There could be some near whiteout conditions where snow has been falling.’’

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Falling tree limbs snapped power lines laced with ice and caused some transformers to explode in Wood County, said Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn.

American Electric Power reported that about 3,500 customers were without power Monday morning in several northwest Ohio counties.

Hancock-Wood Electric reported that more than 1,500 customers had lost power in the region.

Some customers were without power all day on Sunday, said the power company’s president, George Walton.

‘‘The problem we’re having is, as fast as we get circuits back in, a lot of wind is doing damage to poles and knocking circuits out,’’ Walton said.

The wind chill advisories will remain in effect until 10 a.m. on Monday.

At kickoff in Cleveland for Sunday’s Browns-Bengals football game, the temperature was 18 degrees with winds up to 40 mph.