MOUNT VERNON - There is snow in the forecast for Christmas this year and crews from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will be spreading holiday cheer by keeping the roads safe and passible.
Several inches of accumulation are expected in northeast Ohio beginning this afternoon through Saturday. Rain is expected to transition to snow, which eliminated the opportunity to pre-treat the roads ahead of the wintery weather.
The snow will then transition to primarily lake effect snow with the highest snowfall totals likely across the snowbelt region of northeast Ohio, where the most persistent lake effect snow is expected.
Motorists will need to adjust their driving to the conditions, slow down, maintain a safe following distance behind other vehicles, and allow extra time to reach their destination, but if they can stay home, that's certainly the best option.
More than 250 snowplow drivers will be plowing and salting interstates, state and U.S. routes, ramps and bridges across northeast Ohio. Crews will work around the clock in 12-hour shifts.
As always, ODOT reminds drivers to slow down, plan for additional travel time and maintain a safe following distance behind other vehicles. Remember, don't crowd the plow - give us room to work.
With 272,000 tons of salt on hand in northeast Ohio, ODOT has plenty of salt to deal with the storm. Plummeting temperatures will reduce the effectiveness of salt, forcing crews to mix in additives that are more effective at extremely low temperatures such as calcium chloride or beet heat.
For those who decide to hit the road for the year-end holidays, ODOT works to remove as many work zones as possible, travelers will still encounter orange barrels in locations like, I-77/U.S. 30 in Canton and U.S. 30 in Mansfield here in northeast Ohio. You can find live travel conditions, more than 600 traffic cameras, and traffic alerts online at OHGO.com or with the OHGO app.