Crews were called out to many traffic mishaps due to slippery road conditions on Wednesday.Above, a Chevrolet van rolled onto its side in the early afternoon hours along Midde Point Rd. There were no serious injuries reported. (Times Bulletin/Lindsay McCoy)
BY ED GEBERT
Times Bulletin Editor
VAN WERT - County residents survived a near-miss with a winter storm on Wednesday. Only half as much snow as expected fell on Van Wert County while one county to the east and one county to the south, the story was completely different."What a difference a 25-mile shift in the storm can make!" exclaimed Van Wert County Emergency Management Director Rick McCoy. "The National Weather Service was right on with snow fall amounts as predicted but a slight shift in the storm spared Van Wert County the big amounts predicted."
For the day on Wednesday, Van Wert received only three inches of snow - far from the six inches predicted. However just to the south, Mercer County reported 10 inches of snow. That county continued to ask people to stay off the roadways into the nighttime hours. The City of Celina dropped from a Level 3 to a Level 2 Snow Emergency at 5:45 p.m.
Snow measurements in Lima came in at 9.5 inches as of the early evening hours. Wapakoneta reported seven and a half inches while both Piqua and Greenville received seven inches of snow on the day.
"I'm sure a lot of folks were asking where the snow went that Van Wert County was supposed to get," McCoy said. "Well it was out there, it just slid one county further southeast then expected. This saved us from a lot of headaches and we probably had less accidents and injuries then expected. Let's hope that luck continues this winter."
"With any slight shift of a winter storm, which is quite normal, it will mean the difference between heavy snow and much lighter amounts," he continued. "Fortunately, the low pressure system shifted about 25 miles further southeast."
Even with just three inches of snow, the day was a challenge for crews trying to keep roadways clear thanks to high winds which gusted to 35 mph throughout the day.
McCoy noted, "I don't think anyone is complaining because even with just the three inches we received, it made travel dangerous across the county with icy conditions and drifting snow."
Emergency crews stayed active during the day with vehicles sliding off the roadway, a rollover crash on Middle Point Rd. just west of Lincolnview School, and the report of a car on its roof on US 33 in Mercer County. At press time, no serious injuries due to the snow had been reported in Van Wert County. A crash near Ottawa reportedly injured five people, three critically.