Frigid weather hits Ohio after snow

By LISA CORNWELL Associated Press Published:

CINCINNATI -- Shivering Ohioans bundled up as the state endured some of the coldest temperatures in years with more snow and cold weather expected the next few days.

Temperatures started in single digits Friday, with wind chills well below zero in much of the state. Authorities said at least two people were killed in weather-related crashes in northeast Ohio on Thursday as a snow storm dumped 8 to 10 inches around Cleveland and Toledo. The snow storm tapered off and ended by Friday morning, leaving bitter cold and icy roads in its wake.

Forecasters said wind chills in Cleveland could dip to 20-below.

Some milder weather was forecast today and Sunday, but temperatures will dive back down in Ohio by Monday, with highs of zero to 5.

"The news is going to be this next shot of snow coming Sunday and more so, the cold temperatures coming behind that," said John Franks, a National Weather Service forecaster in Wilmington, in southwest Ohio.

He said several inches of snow are considered likely for Sunday, and temperatures will start cold Monday and stay that way.

"It's been 20 years since we've seen those kind of temperatures," Franks said.

The weather led to some school closings, and cancellations at airports elsewhere affected flights at several Ohio airports. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport's scheduled outgoing flights were reduced by about 60 percent Thursday, said airport spokeswoman Michele Dynia.

Kimberly Schwind, a spokeswoman for the AAA auto club in Columbus, said some 2,000 calls were received Thursday from central Ohio members, mainly for tows or pulling out vehicles that slid off slick roads. Calls Friday were flowing in for cold-caused problems, such as dead batteries and people accidentally locked out after they started their cars to warm them up.

At Roush Hardware in the Columbus suburb of Westerville, manager Matt Smith said customers didn't seem to be panicking.

"They're coming in and buying basically one thing: ice melter," he said.

Susan Ganzel, who runs a plumbing business in Toledo with her husband and son, advised homeowners worried about frozen pipes to insulate them, block drafts, leave a slow trickle in faucets and open doors to cabinets to allow heat to reach pipes in walls.

"That's about all you can do in these cold temperatures," she said.

Groups that help the homeless urged people to go to shelters, said Vic Ward, director of operations for Faith Mission in Columbus, which operates three shelters.

"This isn't the case where an extra blanket or another pair of socks is going to make much of a difference if you're outside," Ward said.

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Associated Press writers Dan Sewell in Cincinnati, John Seewer in Toledo and Kantele Franko in Columbus contributed to this report.

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