Weather causes road hazards, power outages

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Winter weather advisories and warnings continue to cover much of Ohio this morning as the tail end of a snow and ice storm drags its way through the state.

The Ohio transportation department reports snow and ice on roads in all 88 of Ohio’s counties. Officials report severe snow, ice and drifting in 18 counties in a line stretching from Darke County on the west side up to Lorain and Medina counties near Cleveland.

Several county sheriff’s offices, including Delaware County, have closed roads to all but emergency workers. Anyone else caught driving could be arrested. Franklin County remains under a level 2 show emergency – where driving is discouraged.

Schools across the state remain closed. That means many have exceeded the five days allowed for bad weather or other emergencies and will have to find ways to make up the days.

Ohio State University closed its campuses in Columbus, Marion and Delaware. It’s the first time in three years OSU has closed its main campus. Many Ohioans are snowed in without power, mostly because of ice snapping power lines.

Utilities report at least 108,000 customers are in the dark statewide.

American Electric Power says its biggest outages are in an area south and east of Columbus, and there’s no estimate of when power will be restored.

In the same region, South Central Power Company says it has crews working round the clock to get the lights back on for about 9,600 customers, but ice, snow and wind have been complicating matters.

In the Cincinnati area, a Duke Energy spokeswoman says that company is bringing about 400 crews in from the Carolinas and elsewhere in the Midwest to help restore power to an estimated 79,000 customers.

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