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State roads are clear in wake of storm



Published: Fri, December 28, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

CINCINNATI

Ohio drivers Thursday picked their way around slick spots left by a winter storm that brought heavy snowfall to some areas and was blamed for one death.

Most major highway routes around the state were clear and free from the accidents and slowdowns from a day earlier.

While some parts of the state saw more than 6 inches of snow Wednesday, northern areas including Toledo got less than 2 inches.

Department of Transportation snow-plow crews worked on roads where blowing and drifting snow accumulated and tried to clear Wednesday’s piles from shoulders and medians.

“We obviously have had multiple crashes around the state [Wednesday],” Ohio State Highway Patrol Lt. Anne Ralston said. “There were crashes that resulted in temporary road closures throughout the state. Things have improved today.”

Ohio’s airports continued to see delayed and canceled flights Thursday mainly because of rough weather in the Northeast.

But the numbers were far less than Wednesday. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in Hebron, Ky., had a handful of Thursday morning cancellations and delays, but spokeswoman Molly Flanagan said operations were returning to normal.

The biggest problems on the roads Thursday were slushy buildups and wind-whipped snow covering side roads. In Darke County, in western Ohio, the snow-emergency level was lowered Thursday from the highest level, but authorities urged drivers to use caution. The sheriff’s office had approved emergency traffic only during the storm after numerous cars slid off roads and got stuck in drifts.

Some of the state’s heaviest snowfalls were in western counties and in the northeast near Lake Erie that got 8 to 10 inches.

In Bellefontaine, which reported a foot of snow in some areas, Pat Leslie was enjoying being retired after helping run a truck stop for years, saying: “I stayed inside and looked out the window at the snow.”

The storm system, linked to 16 deaths, tornadoes in the Gulf Coast region, a record snowfall in Arkansas and disruptions in holiday-week travel, was pushing through the Northeast on Thursday.

Jessica Galley, of Mason, was killed Wednesday afternoon when she lost control of her car on southbound Interstate 71 near Cincinnati, drove across the median and crashed into a northbound Ohio Department of Transportation snow plow, the Hamilton County sheriff’s office said. The snow plow driver wasn’t injured.

Southbound I-75 just north of Cincinnati was closed more than 12 hours after a tractor-trailer crashed Wednesday night in a construction area. Thursday morning traffic was diverted east via connectors to I-71 until I-75 was cleared.


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