By GENNA NEWMAN
and ERIC SCHAADT
After digging out from several inches of snow this weekend, area residents will have to battle blowing snow and another blast of frigid air the next couple of days.
The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory and warning for the region, predicting an Arctic cold front moving into the area overnight would drop temperatures from the low 30s on Sunday to single digits by this morning.
Today’s high is expected to be only 7 degrees, and the low tonight is expected to be 14 or 15 below. On Tuesday, the high in Findlay is expected to be around zero, with a low Tuesday night of 10 or 11 below. Overnight lows on Monday and Tuesday could set records for Findlay. (See related story).
The weather service issued the wind chill warning beginning at 6 p.m. today and continuing through noon Tuesday. A wind chill advisory took effect at midnight Sunday.
Along with the cold air, winds of more than 20 mph were predicted overnight and continuing through Monday. Snow accumulations of less than an inch were expected overnight and less than that was expected during the day today.
Because of blowing and drifting snow, many counties in the region remained under a Level 2 weather advisory Sunday evening. A weather advisory asks motorists to refrain from traveling unless necessary.
Those under a Level 2 were: Hardin, Wyandot, Henry, Putnam, Seneca, Wood and Allen counties.
Hancock County was under a Level 1 weather alert, which urges caution while traveling.
Many area schools announced Sunday night that classes would be delayed two hours this morning, including Arcadia, Arlington, Bluffton, Carey, Findlay Center for Autism and Dyslexia, Cory-Rawson, Fostoria, Hardin Northern, Heritage Christian, Kalida, Leipsic and St. Mary Elementary, McComb, New Riegel, Ottawa-Glandorf and St. Peter & Paul, Pandora-Gilboa, Patrick Henry, Riverdale, Trinity Lutheran in Jenera and Van Buren.
Upper Sandusky and Elmwood have canceled classes for today.
After responding to a number of injury accidents Saturday, no serious traffic accidents were noted on snowy roadways Sunday, according to area law enforcement dispatchers, even though the area was blanketed with another round of snow.
“No major issues. The roads are kind of crappy,” said a spokeswoman with the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office.
“The snowplows have been doing the best they can,” said a dispatcher with the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office.
In Hancock County, two inches of snow fell Sunday, according to the Ohio Department of Transportation, giving the county eight inches of snow accumulation on the ground as of Sunday night.
Sunday snow accumulations in area counties ranged from 1 inch in Seneca County to 4 inches in Henry County.
Two inches of snow fell Saturday in Hancock, Allen, Henry, Seneca and Putnam counties, according to measurements taken by state highway garages. Wood County reported an inch and a half, and Wyandot County had an inch. Hardin County had the most snow in the area with 4 inches reported Saturday.
Saturday’s snowstorm was blamed for weather-related accidents that injured three people on Interstate 75 in Hancock County, and many other non-injury crashes in the region as motorists slid off slippery roads.
The Findlay post of the State Highway Patrol responded to a six-vehicle injury accident at about 9:25 a.m. Saturday in the northbound lanes of I-75, just north of Ohio 235 in Hancock County. One motorist was taken to the hospital.
Walter Gordon, 42, of Smyrna, Ga., was driving a 2008 Chrysler Aspen and was stopped in traffic when he was struck in the rear by a 2007 Freightliner tractor-trailer driven by Amos Kadja, 44, of Pickerington, the patrol said. The truck began to jackknife and struck three other vehicles: a Chevrolet Equinox driven by Tamera Henry, 43, of Bluffton; a 2014 Volvo tractor-trailer driven by Yves Lefort, 48, of Saint-Chrysostome, Quebec; and a 2008 Dodge Dakota pickup driven by James Steen, 59, of Findlay, the patrol said.
The patrol said Steen then lost control and slid into a 2014 Chrysler 200 driven by Abdiaziz Awale, 50, of Ontario, Canada. Awale was taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the patrol said.
The crash is under investigation and no citations have been issued.
In the same area of I-75 at about 10 a.m. Saturday, the state patrol responded to two other injury accidents. Two people were hurt and were taken to Blanchard Valley Hospital, the patrol said.
The crashes occurred when several tractor-trailers jackknifed and ended up in the median, the patrol said. Other northbound motorists tried to slow and either slid into the median or off the right side of the road.
A straight truck driven by Hao Liu, 56, of Cincinnati, was northbound and slid to the right into a ditch, where it tipped over on its left side. Liu reported an injury to his side and was treated and released at Blanchard Valley, the patrol said.
An International bobtail truck driven by Lydia Kumm of Curwensville, Pa., slid into the median. A 2009 Subaru Outback driven by Kim Broomhall, 56, of Kettering, also slid off the interstate and hit the bobtail truck, the patrol said. Broomhall reported pain in her back and neck, and was treated and released at Blanchard Valley. Kumm was not injured.
The accidents closed the northbound lanes of I-75 for about an hour and a half.
Troopers also were called to assist at a number of non-injury accidents Saturday, such as cars sliding off the roadway.
The Seneca County Sheriff’s Office responded to a rollover accident with an injury Saturday afternoon, and the victim was transported to Bellevue Hospital. No further details were available.
Saturday’s weather caused the cancellation of many area sporting, civic and community events, and delivery of the printed Courier was slowed.
Because of the snowfall, Findlay officials asked that residents try not to park on city streets so that effective snowplowing could occur.
“This snow coupled with the cold means that the plowing will be very difficult,” said Service-Safety Director Paul Schmelzer.