Snow started falling heavily across Portage County before 11 a.m. Wednesday, covering roads and putting a damper on after-Christmas shopping trips.
By noon Dec. 26, Kent and Stow had announced emergency park bans and Portage County Sheriff Dave Doak had issued a Level 1 snow emergency for the county. A level 1 emergency means “roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Motorists are urged to drive very cautiously.”
The Portage County Board of Commissioners closed its office until noon Dec. 27.
Ravenna issued a parking ban on all streets until Dec. 27 at 7 p.m.
Kent’s director of public service announced a snow emergency parking ban starting at 1 p.m. Wednesday and will remain in effect until further notice.
Stow’s parking ban was put into effect as of 2 p.m. Wednesday and will remain in effect until 9 p.m. Dec. 27. All vehicles found on the street during a snow ban in Stow are subject to ticket and/or tow at the owner’s risk and expense.
The bans are to allow city crews to clear snow and ice from city streets. During a snow emergency, parking on all city streets is banned to provide for snow and ice removal.
The Summit County Sheriff's Office issued a snow emergency for Summit County.
The forecast was for 6 to 10 inches to fall by later Wednesday. A reprieve from the snow is forecast for Thursday and Friday, but it could return on Saturday and Sunday.
The Associate Press reports strong winds and snowfall that have knocked out power to hundreds of Ohio homes and are disrupting post-holiday travel.
Dozens of flights at Ohio airports are expected to be canceled or are delayed. A spokesman said as many as 80 percent of flights out of Cleveland could be canceled by this afternoon.
Several western Ohio counties have issued road travel warnings.
The Ohio Department of Transportation says it pretreated major highways in anticipation of ice and heavy snow.
We will continue to update this story as more information is available.