Salt arrives just in time;Ohio prepares for storm with double-digit potential

With the snow expected to continue through tonight, area snowplow drivers are back into 24-hour mode. Huron County drivers are working overtime to provide continuous plowing, Glenn Higgins, foreman for the county Engineer's office, said Friday evening. Both night and day crews work an extra four hours so that trucks are continuously working on county roads.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 25, 2010

With the snow expected to continue through tonight, area snowplow drivers are back into 24-hour mode.

Huron County drivers are working overtime to provide continuous plowing, Glenn Higgins, foreman for the county Engineer's office, said Friday evening. Both night and day crews work an extra four hours so that trucks are continuously working on county roads.

Salt supplies have been lower recently due to a state-wide shortage, but Higgins said Huron County received several semi-truck loads Friday afternoon. "We're pretty well set," Higgins said.

Gov. Ted Strickland's office sent out an e-mail to local governments Friday concerning the salt shortage. "Calls have come to us from several local governments regarding their need for salt and their inability to locate it," the message stated. "Some have been concerned that ODOT was either using all the salt or holding salt back. That is not the case.

"District Deputy Directors have been instructed to share salt if they can spare it, though our first priority is to clear state highways and ODOT's usual supplies are low as well," the message continued.

The message also gave numbers from other providers that might have salt available on a first-come, first-served basis.

One of the companies, Robinson Salt, is out of bulk salt for road use, but does have packaged salt available for use on walkways.

Todd Robinson, general manager, explained the shortage occurred because of severe weather in Wisconson earlier in the season.

"Wisconsin got belted really hard with storms so they started pulling the supplies out of Ohio," he said. When storms starting hitting Ohio in the past few weeks, he added, Ohio suppliers turned to West Virginia and then Tennessee.

Robinson's company is located near Dayton and they get most of their salt which is used as a water softener, for de-icing products and as food-grade salt from Louisiana. He said the surge in demand has left his suppliers with nothing to sell.

"They're totally tapped out. They don't have any supplies of bulk or bagged product," he said.

"It has been a very trying process because everything you're looking for was depleted very quickly," he said, adding he has received requests for supplies from the Canton area. Until he ran out of bulk salt, he was able to shift some of his supply from water softener salt to de-icing salt.

A storm predicted to dump double-digit snowfalls across much of the state caused a slew of early school dismissals and flights cancellations, as well as at least one fatal crash and hundreds of highway wrecks Friday, including one involving five entangled semi-trucks.

The National Weather Service issued a blizzard warning for much southern Ohio.

A 49-year-old woman on her way home from work died after the SUV she was driving ran off an icy, snow-covered roadway into a utility poll at about 4 p.m. in Pickaway County in central Ohio, the sheriff’s office said. The road was closed due to electric wires in the roadway.

The Ohio Highway Patrol responded to 610 crashes statewide over 7 1/2 hours Friday, spokesman Lt. Tony Bradshaw said. No one died in those accidents.

A 20-mile stretch of Interstate 70 in eastern Ohio near Zanesville was closed Friday afternoon after a semi went off the road and blocked traffic on the eastbound side and five tractor-trailers became entangled in an accident in the westbound lanes.

“There were semis pretty much everywhere,” said Kate Stickle, a district spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Transportation. “There were two that wound up in the median, there were two in the road, and there was one that rolled over on its side.” She did not know whether anyone was injured.

ODOT expected the westbound lanes to remain closed for the rest of the day, Stickle said.

A variety of weekend events were canceled or postponed, including a couple St. Patrick’s Day parades and a regional science competition at the university of Akron for 400 middle and high school students.

The storm, which stretched across the country to central Texas, was expected to be the heaviest in Ohio along a band that roughly follows Interstate 71 from Cincinnati through Columbus on to Cleveland, Akron and Youngstown, the National Weather Service said. Along that corridor, 10 inches of snow or more could accumulate by midday Saturday.

Many universities canceled afternoon classes, and some government offices shut down. Organizers of the boys and girls high school basketball tournaments in Columbus scrambled to postpone game times and notify fans.

Dozens of incoming and outgoing flights were canceled in Columbus on Friday.

While some local communities have recently reported tight road salt supplies after a season that has seen one battle with snow and ice after another, the Ohio Department of Transportation’s salt barns held an adequate supply for treating highways if the storm turned out to be as bad as forecast, ODOT spokesman Scott Varner said.

Already this winter, ODOT has used more than 850,000 tons of salt on federal and state highways in Ohio, 200,000 tons more than in an average year.

“I think everyone is anxious to see spring arrive,” Varner said.

In northeast Ohio, where more than 16,000 customers still had no power after an ice storm earlier in the week, FirstEnergy Corp. hoped to have service restored to everyone by noon Saturday.

Kyle Rose, 34, of Springfield in southwest Ohio, said he was heating up leftover chili for dinner instead of going to the grocery store in the snow. He plans to spend a lot of time shoveling snow this weekend.

“I guess I try to stay in front of it,” Rose said. “I’d rather shovel 4 inches twice than 8 inches once.”

Akron rescheduled Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade for March 15, “when it’ll be a balmy 35 degrees and partly cloudy,” spokesman Mark Williamson said in a news release.

Snow and wind stopped Friday’s St. Patrick Day’s parade in Columbus, but it didn’t keep the Irish from painting shamrocks on the street at a downtown intersection — a tradition that stretches back decades. The ceremony was low on spectators, except for people scurrying back into office buildings with their lunches.

Past club president Dick Bolton said he’s been at every parade since 1979. He remembered two or three parades in the snow, but this year’s was the first to be canceled, he said. Club members were going to do their celebrating indoors, he said.

“Oh, it’s great,” said Pat Graham, vice president of the local Shamrock Club, who was draped in a green, white and orange sash. “Those sunny days you forget.”

EDITOR'S NOTE - Associated Press writers Doug Whiteman, John McCarthy and Rose Hanson in Columbus and James Hannah in Dayton contributed to this report.

Comments

Dave Rimmer, Li...

So you got my delivery of salt that I did not put on my fish and chips or is it Anthrax spores?

DEAR ABBE

ROFLMAO!!!

Dave Rimmer, Li...

Sorry Redneck girl can you translate....I`m only a stupid, spineless, Brit you know.

Sounds like some big weather you are going to get there or has it arrived yet?

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

TTFN Nos da

DEAR ABBE

djrimmer......that would be "spinless...simole" among other things! ROFLMAO translates to...Rolling on the floor laughing my a$$ off. 22" in my front yard! Snow is blowing drifts of more than 4 feet. Oh yeah, bitter cold too.

swiss family

oh hahaha i didn't know what that meant either.. thanks for clearing that up for me .. coming from you i just thought that it meant" Rejected Old Fat Lady with Mindless Assinine Opinions".... thanks for clearing that up for me!!!!

DEAR ABBE

Swiss...go to hell.

David Deerest.

Swiss, this would be one of the exact reasons you get called a 'tool'.

DaveR., thanks for the salt, but could you send a back hoe and a dump truck or semi?? I'm afraid there's not enough salt in those packets to clear anything outta here. Rednecj_girl, do you live in town? I do, and I believe you're right on the money on that 22 inches you said you got. We've gotten at least that much, too. DaveR., if you pop in the states today, stop by and I'll have you help unbury my truck, and I'll take you sledding at Hogan's hill. Deal? or No Deal? (as cabin fever sets in....)

Stay safe, my friends!

swiss family

is it spring yet?????????????????????????????????????

DEAR ABBE

Deer Dave.....Wakeman...close enough to Norwalk. 22" was yesterday just after the lunch hour. It was sti;; snowing as I went to bed about midnight, I haven't ventured out to clculate this morning. My hubby has been out plowing since he got up this morning, this place is a mess. My daughter has been out on the 4 wheeler, she said RT 20 is still dreadful! (sure doesn't stop her though)!! Have fun unburying that truck of yours!! I love my truck, I just park her on top of the snow mounds.

Dave Rimmer, Li...

Sorry to hear you have all got it so bad over there.....although the kids seem to be enjoying it.

Redneck girl...thank for clearing up my confusion...your reply had me ROFLMAO. Dave cant send any more salt...wouldnt have enough left for my fish and chips. The last time we had snow that bad, I was only 16 years old. We do not seem to get the severe winter snows like we did 40 years ago which make me think that there is something to the Global Warming theories but who knows, I am no scientist. Incidentally Dave I would love to go sledging, my mother tells me I have still not grown up. I might be approaching 60 (this year) but I still think I am 21. Hope you all get your vehicles dug out. Take care out on the roads in all that ice and snow

Catch U all L8ER

swiss family

lets do christmas now ... its so nice looking outside, and imagine if everyone still had their christmas decorations up, how incredible it would look...maybe we could have christmas several times a year..

right to the point

WOW WHAT A BORING LIFE THAT SWISS FAMILY MUST LEAD...DRAMA ,DRAMA ,DRAMA...

David Deerest.

Hey swiss, if you take a drive around this town, you'll see most STILL have their Christmas lights up! Even in the dead of July, you drive around in this town and still see Christmas lights. Gives new meaning to Christmas in July?

David Deerest.

DaveR., looks like our nasty weather is headed your way! Although I doubt you'll get that much snow, you just might get drenched! My fear in sledding is losing whatever 'disc' or sled I may be on and ride my bum all the way down a hill...not a good thing. I need to be able to walk and work again, so if anything, I think I'll just observe the others who can fall down and get up,-no problem!

Yes, 40 years ago, this was the kind of stuff you had at Thanksgiving, then all the way through March. But don't even get me started on Al Gore and his Global Warming theory. I tend to rant...

Dave Rimmer, Li...

Hi Dave....yes I think you are right....it does look as though its heading our way. Forecast for tonight and into tomorrow, 85mph winds and yes you are also right, its likely to be hissing down, we do tend to get the rain and not the snow. I havnt done any sledding for, must be 45years but would love to have a go again in the really thick, propper snow like you get over there. Havnt lost my bottle just yet. Our local authority have just put up the toll to travel under the river Mersey into Liverpool and it will now cost £1.50 for a car each way (tunnel is about 1 mile long), suppose thats about $3 so I am gearing up for a public meeting next monday evening to see what the we can do to try and stop this rip off. Anyway I bid you all good day and will catch U all L8ER...........TTFN

David Deerest.

85 mph winds???????????? Good Lord, man, that's hurricane strength! Good luck at your meeting. I can see the charge say if they were to carry you on their back and let you ride them across, but $3 for 1 mile is just plain robbery!

Off to the daily grind...spring arrives the 19th here, hoping it brings better weather and warmer temps. Have a good one!

swiss family

i am really glad that all of this snow is melting at a slow rate, even with it going away at a slow rate, there is an awful lot of flooding, can you imagine if it were a quick thaw, the mess we would be in??

Dave Rimmer, Li...

Dave....it only reached 76mph, which of course is still pretty strong but throughout the country the was only minor damage....no report of anyone injured. Going for a charity motorcycle ride on Sunday.....its about a 10 mile ride and raises money for the local cancer hospital and there are usually 5000 bikes, yes 5000, the biggest charity motorcycle ride in Europe. Hope the weather is at least bright instead of the rain we have had since the strong winds died down. I see Swiss says your snow is beginning to melt....roll on summer eh! Catch you all L8ER and if you cant be good, be careful TTFN

David Deerest.

ONLY 76 mph. I'm sure trees would topple around here, not to mention my new(er) roof.

Have a safe time on your charitable run Sunday. Sounds like a lot of fun- how fast do 5,000 motorcycles go? Meaning mph? Are you all single file (lol that would take a while) or is it like a parade route for all to see? Hope you have good weather. Still cold and melting here, so at least it's above freezing.

Later!

Dave Rimmer, Li...

Dave, I am surprised that there was not more damage reported throughout the country as 76mph is exceptional here but main damage was a few trees down...I am sure the wood burners will be pleased. In the end, I didnt go on the charity bike ride. I got up at 4.00am this morning to watch the Formula 1 motor race in Australia. On TV live so I overslept and missed the run. You are dead right, its is more like a parade and if you can get up to 10mph you are lucky. The traffic cop motorcyclists marshall the ride and give up there time for free. One of my brothers is a retired traffic motorcycle cop and he turned out to help for 15 years on the trot. They do not quite ride single file, probably more like two or three abreast and it take about 2 hours for everyone to leave the starting point. A lot of the riders also go in fancy dress. Anyhow enough waffle from me. Glad to hear the snow is melting....did you get out and do a bit of sledding or skiing? I did notice that there were a number of accidents on the roads.. I hope no one was seriously hurt

Take care....TTFN