April 19, 2014

Elyria
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Winter storm could dump 6 to 10 inches in Lorain County

Ice jams the Vermilion River in Mill Hollow on Monday, upstream from the city of Vermilion. The river is causing minor flooding in the park. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

Ice jams the Vermilion River in Mill Hollow on Monday, upstream from the city of Vermilion. The river is causing minor flooding in the park. BRUCE BISHOP/CHRONICLE

As if wildly fluctuating temperatures haven’t stymied Lorain Countians enough in recent weeks, a winter storm warning in effect from 7 tonight until 5 p.m. Wednesday could dump up to 10 inches of snow across the area.

Frank Kieltyka, a meterorologist with the National Weather Service in Cleveland, said Lorain County can expect 6 to 10 inches of snow and temperatures around 25 degrees.

He added that the area might face wind, but only minor “blowing and drifting.”

The storm warning is just the latest in a string of winter weather that has besieged the county.

Warmer temperatures last weekend broke up ice on the Vermilion River, which backed up around Mill Hollow, said Lorain County Metro Parks Director Jim Ziemnik. On Monday, Vermilion residents were told that flooding had started along the river due to the backup of ice.

According to Kieltyka, the flood warning Monday was a mistake caused by a malfunctioning river gauge that reported the river reached flood level.

Just because there wasn’t a flood Monday does not ease Ziemnik’s concerns about flooding in the future. Ziemnik said warm spells can cause floods by quickly melting ice that normally covers the river in the winter.

“We’re always monitoring the river,” Ziemnik said.

While cold temperatures are exhausting for many in Lorain County, Kieltyka welcomes them.

“We’re getting back to winter,” he said, adding that colder temperatures will re-freeze broken ice in the bodies of water around the county and keep rivers and streams from flooding.

And it doesn’t look like the cold will end soon. Kieltyka said the National Weather Service is predicting high temperatures only in the low 20s at the beginning of next week.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.