(Toledo News Now) - A severe winter storm blasted the Toledo area with at least 3" of snow Wednesday afternoon accompanied by high winds and ice. Counties to the south got 6" to 7" of snow. It was the first major snow storm in almost two years, and drivers are still being affected Thursday.
Thursday Weather Forecast
The storm left the area late Wednesday. No more snow is expected on Thursday. The day will be partly sunny, cold and breezy. High temperatures are forecast in the upper 20s. Overnight will be partly cloudy and quite cold with temperatures in the low teens.
Temperatures will stay below freezing through the next week. There is a chance of snow showers late Friday. An inch or two of accumulation is possible.
Although the storm may have passed, dangerous road conditions are still in many areas. Drivers are urged to take their time and watch for slick, icy patches.
County Emergency Declarations
No counties are under a snow emergency anymore.
Even though a snow emergency is lowered or removed, Sandusky County Sheriff Kyle Overmyer says drivers still need to take their time and watch for hazardous road conditions. When the sun goes down and the temperature drops, any water, snow or slush can freeze and become icy.
With crews still out Thursday, Overmyer is confident a state of normalcy will return to the area.
"Hopefully we can let things melt a little bit, and those snow plows will continue to be out there and get moving. And hopefully, maybe this evening, we can drop this Level 1 and get back to our normal life," said Overmyer.
Lucas, Erie, Wood, and Williams counties issued a Level 1 snow emergency Wednesday. Ottawa, Hancock, Seneca, Huron, Sandusky, and Allen counties issued a Level 2 snow emergency.
Closings and Cancellations
View local Closings and Cancellations for Thursday.
All Major Roads Open
The Turnpike ban of oversized vehicles has been lifted.
US-20 is open again in Fulton County. It closed for more than an hour Wednesday around 7 p.m. in both directions at mile marker 18 due to a crash.
A serious crash involving a semi truck and pickup truck blocked all three lanes of traffic on Interstate 75 northbound at Ottawa River. Officials cleaned up a diesel fuel spill at the scene and the driver was cited.
At least one serious crash slowed traffic on the Turnpike Wednesday afternoon. Eyewitness reports called it a "pile-up" and said several cars are involved, including an RV that was destroyed. No injuries were confirmed at the time of reporting.
Ohio State Highway Patrol officials at the Swanton Post say they responded to 28 accidents on the Turnpike. Their coverage ranges from the Indiana border to the Elmore area. Lt. Vern Fisher with OSHP said most of the crashes were caused by people driving too fast or too close to the vehicle in front of them.
Drivers complained about slushy, slick roads but officials with the Ohio Turnpike Commission say the road was salted and plowed, plus crews were working around the clock to keep it clean. Major roads and highways were mostly cleared quickly, but back roads were last to get attention in many counties.
Officials say drivers still need to do their part and take it slow.
"We can only take one at a time. So we get to a crash, we handle it, do what we need to do, and then we just go on to the next crash. And obviously if it's an injury crash, we will go take care of that one before we go to a non-injury crash," explained Fisher.
Lt. Fisher says it is typical to see an increase in accidents on the first big snow storm of the year. Sheriff Overmyer wants to remind drivers that in severe weather, safety should be a priority.
"Just take your time. Take your time. Rather be late than not make it at all," said Overmyer.
Airports are open, but many large airports across the country are running on significant delays due to the number of flights that were canceled and the number of passengers displaced. Travelers should check with their airlines before going to the airport.
Toledo Express Airport still has some delays Thursday.
Detroit Metro Airport was running on moderate delays Thursday morning.
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport still has many flights canceled or delayed after Wednesday's storm.