ODOT plows are ready for the snow but poor visibility could make for slow going

A row of Ohio Department of Transportation snow plows
More than 300 plow trucks are expected out in Northeast Ohio. [Ohio Department of Transportation]

The snow plows are ready and loaded with salt, but Ohio Department of Transportation crews were unable to pre-treat roads because of rain that would have washed off the brine.

“That's going to be a little bit of a challenge for us,” ODOT spokesperson Crystal Neelon said Wednesday morning. “With the amount of snow that we're expecting to get after the rain, we have the potential for some hard packed snow on our roadways.”

As of noon Wednesday, the National Weather Service is forecasting 8 to 12 inches of snow for counties along Lake Erie, starting around 7 p.m. through Friday morning, as well as winds up to 30 mph. The heaviest snowfall is expected Thursday afternoon and evening.

Neelon, who was formerly a plow driver, warned that the job of clearing roads could be slow going.

“With the amount of snow that we're expected to get, it's going to be difficult for our crews to keep up,” she said. “Our routes ... could take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half to complete one round.”

More than 300 plow trucks are expected out in Northeast Ohio working 12-hour shifts, and ODOT has called in auxiliary drivers.

The National Weather Service warns blowing snow could significantly affect visibility.

“If we're having the visibility issues that we're expected to get this particular storm, our crews are going to have to slow down even more,” Neelon said.

ODOT is urging Ohioans to slow down, leave distance between the car ahead, allow extra time for your drive or stay home if possible.

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