SIDNEY — Mother Nature and Old Man Winter have made their presence felt in Ohio and across the U.S.
A massive winter snowstorm that blanketed several Midwest states was a factor in at least five road deaths on Saturday and forced the grounds crew to scramble to clear snow from Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City ahead of the NFL divisional playoff game.
In Shelby County, the region was blanketed by the snow, which started Saturday morning.
According to the Piqua Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol, troopers responded to 11 crashes in Shelby County and three in Auglaize County once the storm hit the region. There were no injuries involved in the crashes.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office reports they responded to five or six crashes during the storm. Numerous reports were received by the department of vehicles in ditches.
“Either they stayed home or they drove with common sense,” said the dispatcher on duty.
The Ohio Department of Transportation, Shelby County Engineer’s Office and city of Sidney street department all had crews out plowing and salting the roads once the storm hit.
Events throughout the area were canceled including the Sidney-Wapakoneta boys basketball game.
The storm moved into Kansas and Nebraska from the Rockies on Friday, then east into Missouri, Iowa, Illinois and Indiana, covering roads and making driving dangerous. Part of Interstate 44 near St. Louis was blocked for several hours Saturday, and at one point the Missouri State Highway Patrol warned of traffic delays as long as eight hours.
In Indiana, the northbound lanes of Interstate 65 were closed for hours Saturday after a semitruck jackknifed along the snow-covered highway near Lafayette, about 65 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis.
The storm began to spread east into the Mid-Atlantic region, with between 5 and 10 inches (13 to 25 centimeters) of snow expected in the Washington area, including parts of northern and central Maryland, by Sunday. Forecasters said heavy snow could fall in mountain areas north of Interstate 64, such as Charlottesville and Staunton, Virginia. Gov. Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency Saturday night to help the state of Virginia prepare.
Missouri had gotten the worst of the storm by Saturday, with the National Weather Service reporting more than a foot (30.48 centimeters) of snow Saturday morning in some places around St. Louis and Jefferson City, and more than 18 inches (45 centimeters) in Columbia.