First Alert Weather Day: Icy roads snarl morning commute
CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Less than an inch of snow and freezing temperatures caused plenty of trouble for the morning commute Wednesday.
With overnight temperatures in the 20s, highways and roads were left icy and slick.
That prompted a flurry of school delays and closings, many in northern Kentucky.
LIST: School Closings & Delays
Just before 8 a.m., Cincinnati police activated their emergency auto accident reporting procedure due to inclement road conditions.
That means the police department will not respond to non-injury car accidents. Drivers involved in these types of crashes are asked to exchange information and complete an accident report at any CPD district.
Drivers also can report accidents through the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles using this form.
Crashes closed at least three major highways ahead of the morning commute, resulting in lengthy delays for some motorists, especially in northern Kentucky.
Traffic crawled most of the morning commute along I-71/75, and I-275 in northern Kentucky and both sides of I-75 in Cincinnati.
The highways in northern Kentucky were still snow-covered by 3 a.m. even though snow began falling hours earlier.
Road crews were caught off guard by the amount of snow and damage it did to the roads, said Nancy Wood, spokeswoman for Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
“All the information we were looking at ended up being a bit more significant than we anticipated. Everything we were monitoring wasn’t calling for this. We started spot treating in Carroll County about midnight. We just had our state crews out. We did not call our contractors,” she said.
“It’s just one of those weird snows. Folks just really need to be cautious. A little skim of snow can cause havoc as we see especially on the bridges and overpasses. If folks are not cautious behind the wheel, it can impact our interstates, and then it backs us up trying to get our trucks out to the areas.”
She said road crews began to treat highways in northern Kentucky about 3 a.m. and now 58 trucks are out.
“We still have issues with bridges and overpasses with black ice,” she said. “That’s always our trouble spots.”
Southbound Interstate 75 was closed at the Ezzard Charles Drive exit for more than an hour, according to Cincinnati police.
A semi-tractor-trailer was involved in a crash about 2:45 a.m., they confirmed.
The highway reopened by 4 a.m.
Westbound I-275 was blocked for nearly two hours near the Ohio River in northern Kentucky when a vehicle jackknifed about 2:20 a.m., according to Boone County dispatchers.
One lane is now open, but traffic delays are lingering. No injuries were reported, they said.
Skies will clear Wednesday afternoon as temperatures warm into the 40s.
The warming trend will continue with temperatures in the 60s by the week’s end.
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