The winter storm predicted for the Akron area overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday followed through on its threat to deliver an icy punch to the region and drivers took it on the chin during the morning commute.
The precipitation transitioned to freezing rain early Wednesday after a night of consistent snowfall, creating dangerous conditions on roadways throughout Northeast Ohio.
Live reports from Beacon Journal news partner WEWS showed slick conditions across the region. The Cleveland television station’s meteorologists warned drivers to stay off the roads if possible as winds began to pick up just after 8 a.m., adding to the treacherous conditions.
At about 8 a.m., the Ohio Department of Transportation’s Akron division warned drivers to be cautious via Twitter. @ODOT_Akron tweeted: “Interstates throughout District 4 are moving around 30 to 40 mph this morning. 120 Crews are out on the roads now! Slow Down.”
You can keep up with the latest road conditions on the ODOT traffic website here.
Parking bans were in effect at many cities in Northeast Ohio and various levels of snow emergencies were issued.
A Level 1 Snow Emergency means roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Motorists are urged to drive very cautiously.
A Level 2 Emergency means only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Workers are urged to contact their employers to see if they should report to work. Motorists should use extreme caution.
A Level 3 Emergency means all roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.
Snowy conditions are expected throughout the day, as a winter storm warning remains in effect for Summit, Cuyahoga, Medina, Portage, Stark and Wayne counties until 5 p.m. The National Weather Service predicts an additional 1 to 4 inches of snow Wednesday, possibly mixing with freezing rain. Read the full advisory here.