Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Storm creates hazardous driving conditions, prompts school closings

By DOUG CARDER, Herald Senior Writer | 12/20/2012

High, gusty winds and snow made for hazardous driving conditions throughout Franklin County this morning and prompted area schools to cancel classes.

Franklin County Sheriff’s officers had responded to numerous incidents of motorists sliding off the road throughout the county this morning, Jerrod Fredricks, master deputy with the sheriff’s office, said at 8:30 a.m.

“The calls just keep coming in,” Fredricks said.

Ottawa city street crews were out treating roads before dawn this morning.

“Our street crew was called out by [Franklin County] dispatch at approximately 5 a.m., as the police department had observed roads were becoming slick,” Andy Haney, the city’s public works director, said in an email at 7:50 a.m. “We’ve been spreading salt/sand since then on bridges and main thoroughfares. Crews will continue to treat streets through the day. Parks’ crews are out clearing corner ramps downtown and then moving to parks’ sidewalks.”

Local weather reports indicated 1 to 3 inches of snow had fallen as of 7:30 a.m. throughout the region, with wind gusts exceeding 30 mph. Snowfall was tapering off by 9 a.m. and was expected to move out of the area by noon.

Ottawa, Central Heights and Wellsville schools canceled classes today because of the storm. West Franklin schools already had dismissed classes for the holiday break and were not scheduled to be in session today.

No power outages had been reported in Ottawa as of 8:45 a.m., Jim Bradley, the city’s utilities director, said.

“We didn’t have any lines come down last night in those strong winds or this morning, so we felt very fortunate,” Bradley said.

The Ottawa Fire Department had not been called out on any weather-related fires or other incidents as of 7:15 a.m., Jeff Carner, fire chief, said.

Doug Carder is senior writer for The Herald. Email him at dcarder@ottawaherald.com

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