As snow began to pile up on the roadways during Wednesday’s winter storm, driving became hazardous.
A semi truck jackknifed on Interstate 90 near state Route 611 at 2:25 p.m. Wednesday and backed up traffic for hours. The semi closed one lane to traffic as it stuck out into the roadway.
Elyria police spokesman Lt. Chris Costantino said all reported accidents in Elyria were minor fender-benders. He urged drivers to use caution if they were out on the roadways.
“I would encourage people to stay home, unless it’s absolutely necessary to go out,” he said.
No serious accidents were reported in Lorain County through 9 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Ohio Highway Patrol. The Ohio Department of Transportation was out in full force during the winter storm, with more than 100 crews working 12-hour shifts. Crews were out in Ashland, Crawford, Erie, Huron, Lorain, Medina, Richland and Wayne counties.
ODOT issued a news release Wednesday, asking drivers to use caution driving or to remain home, as snow continued to fall at a forecasted one to two inches per hour, with winds exceeding 35 mph.
Vermilion issued a Level One snow emergency Wednesday afternoon, as well as a parking ban on city streets. The designation does not ban residents from driving but asks them to use caution on the roads.
Lorain and Avon Lake also issued snow parking bans. Lorain’s ban, which runs through noon today, covers most primary and many secondary streets around the city. Any vehicles left in these streets may be ticketed or towed, according to the city.
In Avon Lake, a parking ban is in effect for all city streets until further notice, according to the city website.
The city of Elyria does not initiate parking bans due to local ordinances that prohibit the city from doing so.
People who want to get rid of Christmas trees should delay putting trees out for pickup until after the storm. City officials worry the trees will either get blown around due to high winds or covered by snow and missed by sanitation workers.
Elyria trash collection is delayed one day this week. Those who have Wednesday as their normal collection day will see their trash picked up today. This will continue through the rest of the week until Friday trash is picked up on Saturday.
The same schedule will be used for next week. Monday trash will be picked up as scheduled and collection Tuesday through Friday will be delayed one day.
A number of city buildings, including the Lorain County Court of Common Pleas in Elyria and Ritter Public Library in Vermilion, closed early Wednesday, as heavy snowfall prevented many from traveling from their homes.
Ritter Public Library was scheduled to reopen at 9:30 a.m. today.
FirstEnergy crews were prepared to respond to outages caused by high winds. Extra crews were called in and contractor crews were ready to deploy as needed, according to a news release.
However, no outages were reported in the county at 9 p.m., according to First Energy’s website. Residents are asked to report any downed power lines to their electric company, local police or fire department and to avoid going near any downed lines.