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REGION Snow shuts schools, leaves roads slippery



Published: Mon, January 7, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



There were several accidents but none was serious.

Winter's first storm hit Sunday, dumping four to six inches of snow overnight, closing most schools in the Mahoning and Shenango valleys.

Temperatures hovered in the high 20s and low 30s, making the snow the kind kids love -- the heavy packing kind needed for making snow men and snow balls. It's also the kind most sledders prefer.

Early morning commuters found some roadways, especially side streets, difficult to travel. Commuters traveling state Route 11 said it was wet, U.S. Route 224 in Boardman was snow-covered in most spots, and New Road in Austintown treacherous.

The Ohio State Highway Patrol Canfield post and the Campbell and Struthers police departments reported no major accidents early this morning.

The Mahoning County Sheriff's Department had seven one-car accidents Sunday and a two-car accident with minor injuries at Shields and Messerly roads. No accidents happened overnight, the sheriff's department said.

The Youngstown Street Department has had 15 plows out since the snow started Sunday. The Mahoning County engineer's office could not be reached.

There were no major reports of downed power lines or tree limbs from the heavy snow.

In Columbiana County, most schools are closed. Columbiana city police said some residents are without electricity because of a downed power line. Ohio State Highway Patrol Lisbon post reported numerous traffic accidents because of poor road conditions, but none serious.

Leetonia residents on Summit, Chestnut, Walnut, Park and Elm streets and portions of Butcher road are without water and an order to boil drinking water is in effect because of a main waterline break on Summit Street early Sunday morning.

Mercer County: A half dozen public schools in Mercer County delayed the start of classes today and police reported a number of traffic accidents because of a snowstorm that dumped as much as five inches overnight.

Hermitage, Farrell, West Middlesex, Mercer, Sharpsville and Reynolds ran on a two-hour delay this morning as did Kennedy Catholic High School and the St. Joseph and Notre Dame elementary schools in the Shenango Valley.

Sharon Christian Academy was closed for the day.

Pennsylvania State Police reported numerous traffic accidents related to icy roads, including a one-vehicle crash on U.S. Route 19 in Coolspring Township that injured Melissa Filer of Mercer.

Police said Filer lost control of her vehicle on the roadway around 4:14 p.m. Sunday and struck an embankment and then a telephone pole. Police did not indicate to which hospital she was taken.

Sherry Lynn Runzo, 31, of Beloit, Ohio, was injured when she lost control of her pickup truck on Kinsman Road in Greene Township, Mercer County, around 4:45 p.m. Sunday.

The truck struck an embankment and rolled onto its roof.

State police did not reveal to what hospital she was taken.

Elsewhere: In Lawrence County, Pennsylvania State Police reported motorists were stuck off the side of roads this morning and there were a few weather related accidents. No major injuries or other problems were reported as of 8 a.m.

Pennsylvania State Police in Beaver County reported that snow-covered roads caused a Poland, Ohio, couple to crash on Pa. Route 60 Sunday afternoon. James Lessick, 45, lost control of his car as he made a lane change, police said. The car went off the road, crashed into a berm and flipped over onto its roof at 4:50 p.m., they said. The car traveled about 200 feet on its roof.

Lessick and his passenger, Cathy Lessick, 41, of Poland had minor injuries. Kyle Lessick, 7, was in the car, but not injured, police said. Police reports don't indicate whether the Lessicks are related. Their 1999 Chrysler had major damage, they said.




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