By SHELLEY GRIESHOP
Children all over Mercer and Auglaize counties stayed tucked
in their beds a little longer this morning as slick roadways
caused schools across the Grand Lake St. Marys area to cancel
classes by 9 a.m.
Road crews, however, weren’t as lucky. Snow plows hit
the streets and highways as early as last evening to clear the
way for Monday morning drivers.
“We came out about five o’clock last night already,
and were at it all night,” said Jerry Prasuhn, transportation
manager for Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) in Mercer
County. “Everybody’s still out.”
Prasuhn, at press time today, said crews had cleared all the
state roadways and were going back to clean out mailbox areas
and applying treatment — a mixture of salt, grit and brine.
“Our salt supply is still good, we’re in great shape
so far,” he said. “Now we just sit and wait for
the next round.”
The next round may come sooner than local residents desire.
Warmer temperatures are expected to turn precipitation into
rain tonight after midnight, with freezing rain by morning and
another 1-3 inches of snow later in the day Tuesday.
Auglaize County Engineer Doug Reinhart told The Daily Standard
this morning his crews hit the roadways at 5 a.m. today and
were fighting a freezing drizzle that began a few hours later.
“So far this year, we’ve used about 1,200 tons of
pure salt on the 350 miles we travel,” Reinhart said,
adding that the county still has about 2,000 tons of salt and
salt mixed with limestone in stock.
Reinhart reminded drivers to use extra caution when approaching
“The packed down snow is safer actually. When you see
bare pavement, you tend to think you’re OK. Not today.
The drizzle out there right now is making black ice and that’s
much more dangerous,” he said.
On a positive note, the freezing rain could put a hard crust
on the snow, preventing it from drifting across the roads, Reinhart
No major accidents was reported this morning due to the hazardous
road conditions. Although there were no shortages of vehicles
veering off into the ditches, according to the Wapakoneta post
of the Ohio State Highway Patrol and Mercer County 911 Dispatch.
Mercer County Engineer James Wiechart is reminding motorists
to be aware of snow plow trucks on county roads this winter.
Wiechart asks drivers not to tailgate snow plows, to leave plenty
of room for the plow truck as it approaches intersections and
to refrain from passing plow trucks. Also, Wiechart asks drivers
to remove abandoned and parked cars along county roads to allow
for quick plowing.
The National Weather Service is keeping a winter weather advisory
in effect all day today for Mercer and Auglaize counties. Meteorologist
Mike Ryan of Wilmington said precipitation today will be lighter
than Sunday when 3 to 4 inches of snow fell in west central
“A warmer air mass is moving in and a sleet and snow mix
will be around most of the day today,” Ryan said. “It’s
going to struggle to get to 28 degrees today.”
Winds will remain about 10-15 mph today, but that will change
Tuesday as they pick up by afternoon to 15-20 mph, he said.
Colder air will arrive Tuesday with a chance of freezing rain
again in the morning, changing to snow later in the day. The
chance of snow will decrease Tuesday night, and guess what?
“Wednesday things appear to improve,” Ryan said.
“We might even see some sunshine.”
— Daily Standard reporter Sean Rice contributed to this