(OHIO) The Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) continues to monitor the winter weather system that is impacting Ohio and coordination with federal, state and local partners. The Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) troopers continue to patrol the roadways to assist stranded motorists and Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) continue their work to clear the roads and assist motorists.
The information below was valid as of December 25, 2022 at 1 p.m. EST.
Bitterly cold temperatures and wind chills continue today, with gradual improvement throughout the day. Lake effect snow is forecasted in Lake and Ashtabula counties today, with 2-3 inches of snow possible. Snow rates up to 1 inch per hour can occur in the core of lake effect bands this morning, leading to very poor travel conditions on parts of I-90 and Ohio Route 2. Expect hazardous travel in snow bands.
- Statewide power outages continue with numbers trending downwards. Estimated times of restoration (ETR) vary statewide.
- Whiteout conditions may occur on roadways little to no notice creating visibility issues.
Ohio Turnpike Update
The Ohio Turnpike’s westbound and eastbound lanes have reopened following the incident that occurred at milepost 106 in Erie and Sandusky counties on Dec. 23, 2022:
Westbound Update – distributed on Dec. 24, 2022:
Westbound lanes from Exit 118 (U.S. 250) to Exit 91 (S.R. 53) were reopened to traffic shortly after 3 p.m. this afternoon. With all lanes being opened, normal traffic operations in east and westbound directions have resumed at Exit 118 (U.S. 250) and Exit 110 (S.R. 4).
Eastbound Update – distributed on Dec. 24, 2022:
Eastbound lanes from Exit 91 (S.R. 53) to Exit 118 (U.S. 250) were opened at about 4:40 p.m. today. A right lane closure is in place from milepost 105.4 to milepost 106.8, due to damaged commercial vehicles that remain in the area. However, this is a three-lane section, so traffic is being maintained in the left and center lanes.
Energy Providers Message:
The PJM system-wide call for conservation prompted by frigid weather ended Dec. 25 at 9:30 a.m. after a morning peak of approximately 118,000 MW. PJM does not anticipate issues serving the forecast peak load of around 123,000 MW on Dec. 25. Click here to view a message from Mike Bryson, PJM Sr. Vice President of Operations.
Ohio Emergency Management Agency (Ohio EMA) /State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC)
- The State EOC will be at Assessment & Monitoring for the duration of this event.
- The Ohio EMA Watch Office continues to monitor the state of power outages and ETR’s, currently utility companies are working around the clock responding to outage statewide.
Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) Actions
- There are currently major roadway closures.
- Since 8:00 a.m. Thursday morning, troopers have handled over 1,200 crashes. There have been seven fatalities reported, resulting in 13 lives lost. Additionally, troopers have assisted over 4,000 motorists.
- Troopers continue to patrol the roadways to assist stranded motorists. If you find yourself stranded, please dial #677 and a trooper will be dispatched to assist you. If an emergency exists, please dial 9-1-1.
Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) Actions
- Approximately 800 plows are still out at any given time to continue clearing roads.
- Crews will work 12-hour shifts until the roads are cleared. Conditions are continuously improving due to improving weather conditions.
- Interstate speeds are returning to near posted speed limits in most areas.
- 15 MPH winds in Western, Northern and Central Ohio continue to blow accumulated snow across the rural State Route roadways. Drivers should continue to use caution in these areas.
- Warmer temperatures and sunshine today will help ice-fighting materials like salt work better, which will help with clearing efforts.
- Winds this evening will decrease to around 10 mph which will greatly minimize drifting.
- Drivers can continue to check OHGO.com or download the OHGO app to check road conditions in their area and along their route before determining if conditions are safe for travel.
- Road conditions in the state vary. In some areas, roads are mostly cleared, and in others they are still covered with snow and ice.
- As of 1 PM there are is one major interstate closure: I-75 in Shelby County. Drivers should avoid the area.
- Ohioans should check OHGO.com or download the OHGO app to check road conditions in their area and along their route today before deciding if it is safe to travel.
- Don’t crowd the plow! ODOT plows have been hit four times so far during this weather event. Drivers need to give snow plows lots of room to work. Do not follow or pass close by snow plows. In most cases, it is the driver of the car, not the snow plow, that sustains injuries.
- Warming shelters are open in numerous local jurisdictions across the state.
The next update will be released on December 26, 2022 at 2 p.m. EST.