XENIA — The Ohio State Highway Patrol has been busy monitoring and clearing various crash sites from this past weekend when a winter storm burst through the area.
Beginning when the storm hit Thursday afternoon, cleanup efforts were still underway as of Monday evening with snow covered roads still causing difficult driving conditions.
Greene County’s road status has remained at Level 1 for several days.
The OSHP handled 21 total crashes this past weekend due to the hazardous road conditions with the winter storm contributing to several two and three car pile ups.
Four crashes were recorded on Interstate 675, three on US Rt. 35, three on St. Rt. 68, two on St. Rt. 72, and two on St. Rt. 235. There were no fatalities recorded from the OSHP or the Sheriff’s Office.
“Along with assisting at the crash scene, we help drivers get out of ditches and have transported drivers to hotels, restaurants, gas stations, etc. to wait for assistance from family or friends,” explained Sergeant Richard Dixon of the OSHP. “We try to provide as much safety to the public as possible.”
According to the National Weather Service in Wilmington, there was an estimated three inches of snow that accumulated over the weekend storm, standard wind speeds of 30 mph, gusts reaching 45 mph, and a low of nine-below Fahrenheit.
The cold temperatures did not allow for proper treatment of roadways and have slowed efforts to get them safer for driving.
“We see broken-down vehicles that have slid off the road 150 feet, vehicles waiting on tow trucks, etc.”, said Dixon. “People drive way too fast — they need to go with a safe speed.”
During a winter storm in 2021, the county ran two shifts of 13 employees to ensure that every county road was treated quickly and efficiently according to Greene County Engineer, Stephanie Goff.
“We run ten tandem trucks and two pickup single-axle trucks,”said Goff about the 2021 winter storm. “Each tandem truck carries 12 tons of salt and each single axle truck carries 10 tons.”
Dixon offered tips to assist drivers while cleanup efforts continue.
“Drive slow and keep a distance between yourself and traffic,” he said. “When traveling, try to keep warm clothes, a blanket, hand warmers, a first aid kit, food and water, a flashlight, etc. in your trunk in case of an emergency.”
According to the Greene County Sheriffs Office, there are three levels of road conditions the public should be aware of:
Level 1 — roadways are hazardous with flowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Drive cautiously.
Lew 2 — roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may be very icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work. Drivers should use extreme caution.
Lew 3 — all roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. Those traveling on the roads could be subject to arrest.
For traffic advisories, go to www.odot.gov.
Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.