By DEAN NARCISO
Wet, heavy snow fell overnight in the counties south and east of Columbus, leading to snow emergencies and school closings and delays.
Several forecasts call for snow in central Ohio beginning Tuesday afternoon.
The National Weather Service this afternoon issued a winter storm warning for parts of Ohio starting 4 p.m. Tuesday to 10 a.m. Wednesday for Wayne, Fayette, Union, Hardin, Mercer, Auglaize, Darke, Shelby, Logan, Delaware, Miami, Champaign, Clark, Madison, Franklin, Licking, Preble, Montgomery and Greene counties.
We could see 6 to 10 inches of snow by Wednesday morning.
Athens city offices closed until noon today and Ohio University closed its campus in Athens until 11 a.m. Classes and student activities resumed at 11:50 a.m. Athens County offices will remain closed all day.
Level 1 snow emergencies were declared in several southeastern Ohio counties, including Perry County, while Athens County was among several counties under a Level 2 snow emergency. Vinton County has declared a Level 3 snow emergency, which prohibits all non-emergency vehicles from the roads.
Among the districts closing today are Athens, Berne Union, Logan Elm and Logan-Hocking. Amanda-Clearcreek, Circleville and Fairfield Union are among districts that had a two-hour delay.
School closings, delays 5/8 Real-time traffic 5/8 Weather forecast and live radar
In central Ohio, snow precipitation was contained south and east of a line from Washington Court House to Circleville to Newark to Coshocton.
Pickaway, Fairfield and Perry counties were under a winter weather advisory until 10 a.m., with an expected accumulation of an inch or less.
Motorists traveling in or to southern and southeastern Ohio were urged to show extreme caution and to avoid unnecessary travel. Authorities in Hocking and Athens counties reported that vehicles were sliding off the road this morning because of the significant snowfall. However, none of the crashes were serious.
By midday in Athens, the streets were clear and a bright sun shone on dwindling piles of dirty slush and snow, bringing the temperature up to a balmy few degrees below freezing.
Sitting in an uptown deli having lunch, Ohio University students Alicia Hamon, Mattie Ropelewski, and Caroline Bartels said they were using their day off classes for both work and play, and appreciating the extra time it gave them to get ready for pending exams.
Ryan Miller, a senior from Lima, Ohio, was tramping through the slush on his way to OU’s Alden Library to use the day off to make headway on some assignments in management information systems.
“I have a couple of group projects I’ve got to work on,” Miller said. “It’s nice to be able to catch up on them.”