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Road crews prepare for weekend snow

ODOT treating roads ahead of storm

The Ohio Department of Transportation worked overnight on Friday in preparation for an expected winter storm this weekend.

ODOT said that although it remains uncertain as to what the region will get and when, more than 110 snowplow operators and mechanics throughout District 9 are on standby and ready to go.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter advisory for the region beginning between 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday night. Rain is expected to change to scattered snow showers, with a sudden drop in temperatures that “will also lead to a flash freeze and hazardous driving conditions,” the NWS said. High winds could reduce visibility. And lows could dip into the teens in some areas.

As of Friday evening, it is anticipated that warmer temperatures will bring mostly rain to south-central Ohio at the onset and during the day Saturday. This, however, will likely transition to snow during the evening and overnight hours as cold air moves in and temperatures drop.

By the end of the storm Sunday, snow accumulations for the district could vary from one to three inches.

Motorists should be prepared for slick travel Saturday night and Sunday – slow down, buckle up, leave a “space cushion” between vehicles for safe maneuverability, and remember that bridges and overpasses can freeze before roadways. In addition, this storm is likely to create wide-ranging conditions, so a clear highway might suddenly turn snowy and slick around the next curve.

ODOT crews are prepared to work around the clock on 12-hour shifts to battle the storm but, depending on the type and severity of the storm, it could take a longer period of time to get roads clear. Motorists should plan travel accordingly.

With a widespread forecast for the district, the first round of crews were dispatched as early as 3:30 a.m.