GALION — It depends on which forecast you listen to, or whether you have any faith in weather prognosticators at all, but the Galion area could get dumped on big-time this weekend.
A combination of an weather arctic front, a dipping jet stream, warm water on the Great Lakes and wind means anywhere from zero to 12 inches of snow by Monday.
Workers with Galion’s street department spent Thursday morning testing and adjusting and attaching snow plows to trucks.
They made sure salt spreaders were working and that the trucks were in good shape to begin a winter season that began abruptly a couple of days ago.
The city received a little snow Thursday and Friday morning. And although a little slick in spots, the major roads and intersections were in pretty good shape on the way to work Friday.
But things could get a lot more icy and dicey in the next few days.
A Weather Channel map and video shows this part of north central Ohio on the receiving end of 3-12 inches by Monday evening. The daily forecast on the same website calls for significant snow to begin late Saturday, with the heaviest accumulation into early Sunday.
“The service department has been monitoring the weather predictions and the city is well-prepared for the winter season,” said Acting Safety Service Director Nicole Ward. “By the end of the (Thursday), we will have four trucks ready for salting and plowing.”
Currently, the city has plenty of road salt available for Mother Nature’s first onslaught.
She said Galion has 300 tons of salt in the bin on Railroad Street, with another 678 tons in storage.
Ward added that it takes about 50 tons of salt to cover all streets in Galion.
The Ohio Highway Patrol warns drivers to be extra cautious in winter and to follow some simple, common-sense safety tips: allow extra time to get to your destination and maintain a safe distance between vehicles on the road; pay close attention to bridges and overpasses, as they are often the first to freeze over; and drive slowly, as everything, including accelerating, turning and braking takes longer on snow-covered roads.
During the winter of 2015-16, there were 11,544 crashes on snow, ice or slush covered roadways on Ohio roads. That was a decrease of 54 percent from the previous year. The crashes resulted in nine deaths and 3,096 injuries. Speed-related factors were reported as a cause in 68 percent of the crashes.
“In case of a vehicle breakdown, motorists should turn on their hazard warning lights, safely position the vehicle as far off the road as possible, call #677 for assistance and remain in the vehicle until help arrives,” said Lt. Scott C. Rike, commander of the Bucyrus Post.
Also, if stuck in snow, make sure that vehicle tail pipes are free of all snow and debris to decrease your chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Prep for winter driving by ensuring that your vehicle — battery, cooling system, tires, wipers and defroster — are all in working order.
Also, these items should be available and in vehicles at all times, especially in the winter: cell phone with car charger; road flares or reflectors; help or call police signs; first aid kit; flashlight; blanket/sleeping bags; small shovel; bottled water and energy foods; candles and matches; tow strap/chain.
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