Cincinnati Enquirer’s Cliff Peale reports:
Road crews will be out in force all night and before dawn Tuesday, hoping to blunt the traffic impact of surprise snow showers that paralyzed traffic Monday afternoon and evening.
Workers and students headed back from their holiday vacation will be battling frigid temperatures and snow showers that are expected to taper off through the morning.
Sporadic snow is expected throughout the night with temperatures falling to about 15 degrees and wind chills as low as 5 degrees, the National Weather Service in Wilmington said.
- National Weather Service: West Chester 7-day forecast
- AccuWeather.com: West Chester extended forecast
There won’t be much snow accumulation, totaling less than an inch.
“It’s going to depend on where you are and where the snow showers run through,” meteorologist Jeff Sites said.
Monday, the snow snarled trips for people trying to drive all over Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. The biggest crash came on southbound Interstate 75 in southern Kenton County as 41 cars slammed into each other in a spectacular pileup that sent six people to local hospitals. None had life-threatening injuries.
The highway was closed for more than two hours near the Crittenden exit.
At various points Monday, the I-275 bridge between Kentucky and Indiana, I-75 in Florence and the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge between Covington and Cincinnati all were closed. The cut in the hill on I-75 was at a crawl for most of the late afternoon and early evening.
Nancy Wood, spokeswoman for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s District 6 office in Covington, said the agency didn’t anticipate much snow and only started calling crews in to work in late morning. They all were working by about 6 p.m.
“When we knew about the affected areas we got crews out there, but several of those areas already had seen the effects,” she said. “We couldn’t get some of our trucks and drivers in because the backups had already happened.”
The cabinet called in about 60 crews in its 11-county area. The fast moving snow showers made it a challenge.
“We had some areas that had now snow, and then two miles over the roads were covered,” Wood said.
The Ohio Department of Transportation started calling in crews Monday morning but increased the work force as the day went on.
“I think we recovered quickly and brought crews in as it became apparent it wasn’t going to let up,” said Sharon Smigielski, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Transportation.