Jennifer Edwards Baker reports:
The worst winter storm we’ve seen in a few years has arrived, bringing sleet and snow across Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky this morning.
Rain is falling to the southeast of downtown Cincinnati, sleet is pelting down across the city and up through Hamilton County to Sharonville, and snow is falling in northern Butler County, according to the National Weather Service in Wilmington.
While major roads such as Interstate 75 and Columbia Parkway are fine, other roads are getting slick, especially north and west of the city.
About 45 trucks began treating Cincinnati’s streets with salt at 7 p.m. Christmas night. Up to 70 trucks total are available for city roads.
Those efforts continued overnight, and crews will work 12-hour shifts until the roads are clear and safe, city officials said.
Major thoroughfares will be treated and cleared before secondary and residential streets, said Jarrod Bolden, superintendent of Cincinnati’s traffic and road operations.
“Right now the roads are pretty good,” he said at 8 a.m. “Our pre-treating efforts through the night allowed us to pass the freezing and slicks parts on the road.”
The challenge for road crews today, he said, will be keeping up as the wintry mix switches from rain to sleet and snow to all snow.
“It’s giving us a mix of everything right now,” Bolden said. “With the temperature dropping now it could re-create some freezing pavements and we could get some slushy accumulations through the day.”
Heavy snow is blanketing Oxford in northern Butler County and southeastern Indiana.
In Warren County, 17 trucks hit streets at 4 a.m. to treat roads with salt, said Elbert Allen, a highway clerk at the county garage in Lebanon.