Snow, cold leave their mark


By Melanie Speicher - [email protected]



Strong winds etched grooves into the snow on Saturday, Dec. 24.

Strong winds etched grooves into the snow on Saturday, Dec. 24.


Temperatures dove into the negative range on Friday, Dec. 23. While electronic billboards didn’t always agree on the exact number they all agreed it was cold.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Temperatures dove into the negative range on Friday, Dec. 23. While electronic billboards didn't always agree on the exact number they all agreed it was cold.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Snow drifts form 4 foot mountains in front of the Auto Vue Drive-In Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 24.


Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

SIDNEY — Days of frigid weather, with temperatures dropping below zero degrees, were made worse with winds 30-40 mph hitting the county and state.

The storm arrived just ahead of the holiday travel late Thursday night, early Friday morning, and the roads were turned into sheets of ice and drifting snow. Snow plows and their drivers battled the elements as they attempted to clear the roads.

The Shelby County EMA helped coordinate what was happening across the county with all villages and city of Sidney.

“EMA remained in constant communication with partners across the county/city/villages before, during, and after the passed through. In addition, I kept all partners updated with the weather forecast and how things were going across the county,” said Director Kristy Fryman.

“Before the storm arrived, I conducted a conference call to provide situational awareness, and partners shared what they were doing and any concerns they had,” she said.

Fryman express her appreciation to everyone in the county for their assistance during the storm.

“I want to thank all the individuals who worked hard to plow roads, restore power, and responded to emergencies (including dispatch). I know it was a few difficult days. I appreciate their dedication to serving our citizens,” Fryman said.

Shelby County Engineer Bob Geuy said because of the rain before the storm hit, his road crews were unable to pretreat the roads.

“Trucks first went out around 10:30 p.m. Thursday night,” said Geuy. “We had crews out continuous from Thursday night until late afternoon Saturday. They came back in at 6 a.m. Christmas morning and were out for about three hours.”

Geuy said the county trucks remained busy plowing the 13 designated snow routes.

“Wind caused low visibility for the drivers and the cold caused many of our trucks to freeze up,” he said.

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office recorded more than 80 vehicles in ditches from Thursday night through Sunday. There were numerous crashes, especially on Interstate 75.

Botkins Police Chief Mark Jordan said his department was busy with assisting at crash scenes and dealing with a power outage in the village. Botkins was without power for several hours Saturday morning.

“Most of the crashes that we responded to were on the Interstate Route 75. There were a few with injuries said Jordan. “OSP handled a crash at the 105 mile marker that had a OSP trooper cruiser involved. The trooper was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. This crash involved multiple vehicles and multiple minor injuries. This crash also included 12 individuals who were transported by Botkins Fire to the fire house, and then transported by various EMS services to the hospital. All were minor injuries.”

A spokesperson for the Piqua Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol said four OSP cruisers were struck during crashes in Shelby County. Of the four troopers, two sustained minor injuries. Troopers responded to 50 crashes in Shelby County during the storms.

Jordan said the Botkins street crews started plowing the village streets at 4 a.m. Saturday.

“The below zero temperatures, ice and high winds were the worst part of the storm,” said Jordan. “These were all contributing factors to the multiple crashes and the difficulty that police, fire and EMS had in responding and working the crash scenes. The public safety professionals of Shelby County did an amazing job in very rough conditions.”

Fort Loramie Village Administrator Mark Shappie said the village had two plows clearing the streets off and on all weekend “to take care of the blowing and drifting snow.”

“The blowing and drifting snow and the lack of visibility, and the extreme low temperatures during the event was the most problematic for our crews,” said Shappie.

Jackson Center Village Administrator Bruce Metz said the village was lucky as it didn’t experience any power outages during the peak of the storm.

“Our Village was very fortunate we did not experience any power outages and there were no serious accidents. We had two crews go out initially at 9:30 Thursday evening and apply road salt down during the flash freeze so everyone could get home. Then at 5 a.m. Friday morning we were out with three plow crews for the streets and a crew to clean downtown,” said Metz.

“We dropped down to one plow crew at noon and continued until 10 p.m. that evening. On Saturday we were out again at 5 a.m. with two crews until noon.

“The worst part of the storm was the wind/wind chill for us. We had some equipment freeze up at our Wastewater Treatment Plant and it hindered our Fire Department on a Structure Fire Friday evening,” said Metz. “With this storm that had been in the weather forecast and our EMA Director giving us daily updates and held a meeting before the storm was getting ready to slam us with its full fury, that gave us time to be well prepared for what was predicted. I would like to thank our crews that did a great job on this weather event and did it safely.”

Kettlersville Mayor Eric Kaminsky said the Ohio Depatment of Transportation began plowing state Route 274 Friday niht while the an Buren Townshi trustees started plowing the village streets and township roads Saturday.

He said the “Worst part was the extreme cold and wind.”

A warming center was opened at Mercy Mission House on Gearhart Road for anyone who needed shelter from the extreme cold temperatures.

“We opened and announced the availability for warming beginning last Thursday evening and welcomed anyone that needed shelter or just a warm place to go during the cold. We are still open and will continue to assist those in need anytime of the day for warming during the winter months,” said Mercy Mission House Director Amanda Hilgefort.

“We had two individuals come in from the elements that are continuing to stay with us,” she said.

Russell Road Church members came in on Friday afternoon with a meal for not only the residents, but brought enough to feed anyone in the community in need of a meal.

“We are so thankful to have a supportive community always willing to go above and beyond to assist,” she said.

“My staff was wonderful over the holiday weekend assisting each other. Fortunately we were able to assist all that came in with the staff I had over the holiday weekend,” Hilgefort said. “Sidney Police Department and the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office both checked on us throughout the weekend. Having agencies in the area concerned for your staff, residents, and the community is heartwarming.”

Strong winds etched grooves into the snow on Saturday, Dec. 24.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/12/web1_DSC_9200-2.jpgStrong winds etched grooves into the snow on Saturday, Dec. 24.

Temperatures dove into the negative range on Friday, Dec. 23. While electronic billboards didn’t always agree on the exact number they all agreed it was cold.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/12/web1_DSC_9111-2.jpgTemperatures dove into the negative range on Friday, Dec. 23. While electronic billboards didn’t always agree on the exact number they all agreed it was cold. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Temperatures dove into the negative range on Friday, Dec. 23. While electronic billboards didn’t always agree on the exact number they all agreed it was cold.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/12/web1_DSC_9090-2.jpgTemperatures dove into the negative range on Friday, Dec. 23. While electronic billboards didn’t always agree on the exact number they all agreed it was cold.Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

Snow drifts form 4 foot mountains in front of the Auto Vue Drive-In Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 24.
https://www.sidneydailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/47/2022/12/web1_SDN122722SnowDrift-2.jpgSnow drifts form 4 foot mountains in front of the Auto Vue Drive-In Theatre on Saturday, Dec. 24. Luke Gronneberg | Sidney Daily News

By Melanie Speicher

[email protected]