The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 26, 2014

Heavy snow challenges drivers, weekend events in Ashtabula County

By WARREN DILLAWAY - warren@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

— The dynamics of northeastern Ohio weather patterns were evident on Saturday as cycles of snow and wind came, and went, challenging motorists for much of the day.

Area residents woke to several inches of snow blown into drifts that clogged some roads and left others without snow.

At least one area family took to a Lake Shore Park sledding hill to beat the chilling temperatures rumored to be on the way.

The National Weather Service is predicting bone-chilling temperatures this week with a high of two degrees on Tuesday.

“We were down here a couple of weeks ago when it was 8 degrees,” said Mark Rantanen, of Ashtabula, while sledding with his children at Lake Shore Park.

In some areas of the county the sun even poked out for awhile and then without much warning a wall of snow hit the Ashtabula area making driving a true adventure.

Area emergency workers responded to a variety of calls  Saturday afternoon including a snowmobile-truck collision in Austinburg Township.

Austinburg Fire Chief Bill Wilms said a snowmobile pulled in front of a pick-up truck on Eagleville Road on Saturday afternoon. He said victims were transported to the hospital by Northeast Ambulance Service, but the injuries did not appear to be serious.

Sgt. Ron Bornino of the Ohio State Highway Patrol said the weather provided a challenge for area drivers, but nobody was seriously hurt during white-out conditions in some areas of the county. He said there were no serious injuries, although there were a lot of cars off the road and trucks in the median of area highways.

“We were lucky,” Bornino said.

High school sporting events throughout the region were canceled Saturday, but a variety of area social events continued despite the freezing temperatures.

Firefighters from Andover and Dorset battled a barn fire on Route 193 in Dorset Township, according to fire officials.

The city of Painesville put a parking ban in effect just before 8 a.m. on Saturday. “Vehicles must be removed from on street parking. If the vehicles remain parked on the street they may be ticketed or towed to allow the city’s Public Works trucks to clear the street,” according to a press release.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department also asked motorists to limit time on area roads. “Lake County Sheriff Daniel A. Dunlap is advising that due to snow-covered and slick roadways, travel is hazardous in Lake County. Travel should be limited only to that which is deemed essential. This is an advisory only, and not a snow emergency,” a press release stated.