Ohio faces severe cold this week

Published 10:02 am Monday, January 27, 2014

CINCINNATI (AP) — Ohioans were facing a one-two punch from winter weather Sunday, with more snow over the weekend soon giving way to a new pounding by bitter cold.

There was scattered snowfall Sunday, with some areas picking up another inch or two. Sunday night. After new snow of 2 to 8 inches in much of the state Saturday, Sunday’s forecasts called for smaller amounts ahead of plummeting temperatures. Many areas were in low single digits, with gusting winds slapping Ohioans with wind chills of minus-20 degrees or worse in the mornings ahead this week.

The National Weather Service issued wind chill warnings for much of the state beginning today, meaning dangerous cold ahead. The forecasts said much of central and western Ohio could get wind chill readings of 25 to 35 below zero tonight and Tuesday morning. Temperatures in the Cleveland area could be well below zero early this week. The unusually frigid weather is expected to grip most of the state into Thursday.

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WHIO TV reported several vehicle collisions and slide-off crashes in western and southwest Ohio on Sunday. It reported several people were taken to hospitals after the crash of semi tractor-trailer and car on Interstate 75 near I-70. The Ohio State Highway Patrol said two people were killed in a two-vehicle crash in Defiance County in northwest Ohio, but it wasn’t known immediately whether weather was a factor.

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.

Many counties were under snow emergencies for hazardous driving conditions Sunday.

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 multi-vehicle accidents across Ohio on Saturday, one on the Ohio Turnpike in Erie County along the state’s northern edge.

Two Hamilton County deputies were hurt in the Cincinnati area on Saturday after a driver lost control of his vehicle while they were outside trying to help a stranded motorist.