Ohio DOT Preparing for Christmas Holiday Winter Storm

I-80 Winter Storm

A winter storm is looming, looking to disrupt travel for the Christmas holiday.

Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) crews in District 1 and District 2, which includes 16 counties throughout northwest Ohio, are preparing by checking trucks and all equipment; and organizing full-time, auxiliary, and seasonal employees to prepare them to begin 12-hour shifts when needed.

Based on predictions by our meteorology partners, ODOT is preparing its plow operators for the following:

  • A winter storm watch remains in effect for Thursday night through Saturday, with a brief and light wintry mix possible early Thursday before turning to rain.
  • Falling temperatures Thursday night will bring a fast changeover to all snow.
  • Friday and Friday night, snow accumulations of two to four inches are expected with high winds causing widespread blowing and drifting and possible blizzard conditions.
  • Saturday, gusty winds, dangerous cold and blowing snow continue.
  • Christmas day Sunday, it’s expected to remain cold and breezy.

“This storm will be challenging as our ability to pretreat highways with brine (salt and water mixture) will be limited because the rain will wash it away. We will monitor pavement temperatures and apply material as temperatures drop and the changeover to snow begins,” said Rod Nuveman, ODOT District 1 highway management administrator.

“Our trucks will be out at all times through the storm. We ask motorists to use caution if travel is necessary, and to be respectful of our plow operators. Our goal is to keep roads passable for emergency vehicles, but we don’t expect highways to be completely clear until the winds have diminished,” said Pat McColley, ODOT District 2 deputy director.

Motorists are reminded to be aware that ODOT trucks travel at slower speeds and to give them plenty of space to work. Last winter, ODOT plow trucks statewide were struck 62 times. Three strikes have occurred already this year.

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