Groundhogs can’t always be right

District 9 crews getting ready for more winter weather – 

Missing it by a day or two and forgetting that today is the first day of spring, Punxsutawney Phil and Buckeye Chuck seemed to have gotten their predictions wrong…of course, groundhogs can’t always be right! The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory in effect tonight through Wednesday evening, and the forecast for much of District 9’s eight-county region calls for intermittent rain showers through tonight then changing to snow during the overnight hours. Although total accumulations will likely vary across the area, current forecasts are calling for two to four inches of snow by the storm’s end. Along with keeping an eye on the forecast today, crews are prepping equipment and loading trucks in advance of the storm moving into the area later tonight. Then, snowplow operators will begin rolling out at midnight, and by tomorrow morning, there will be more than 100 crews on duty patrolling, treating and plowing as needed. While our crews in District 9 are getting ready for the next snow and ice event, motorists should also be prepared for winter driving conditions. Rain can change to freezing rain as the temperature falls, snow will stick readily to wet pavement, and wet pavement – even if it’s been treated – will be slick and can turn icy quickly. In addition to planning ahead and allowing additional travel time, especially for the morning commute, motorists are reminded to give crews plenty of room to work. Snowplow operators drive at speeds well below the posted limit and their field of vision is restricted, so motorists need to use caution when approaching a plow truck. ODOT District 9 includes Adams, Brown, Highland, Jackson, Lawrence, Pike, Ross and Scioto counties. As of March 14, District 9’s crews had used 38,564 tons of salt and worked nearly 45,000 hours plowing snow and ice. This compares to last year’s season-to-date numbers of 14,121 tons of salt used and 21,983 hours logged during snow and ice events from November 1, 2016 to March 22, 2017.