“Nope. Sorry … not gonna discuss Thursday NAM (weather) model,” tweeted Spectrum News Ohio chief meteorologist Eric Elwell early Tuesday. “I am still feeling the burn from the last ‘fun runs’ of these models.”
Most of the Dayton area got six inches of snow and sleet through early Tuesday, closing schools, disrupting COVID vaccinations and making roads a mess.
The Ohio Department of Transportation’s 1,250 crews plowed I-75, I-70 and some state routes relatively clear on Tuesday. ODOT officials warned drivers that even when they can see pavement, conditions can still be slick, and there is potential for refreezing as the sun goes down and temperatures drop.
ODOT and several local city officials urged drivers to go slower and give snow and salt crews room to work. ODOT said more than a half-dozen of their trucks were hit by other drivers during the storm.
Cathy Baer, a sales representative at Matt Castrucci Auto Mall, clears several inches of snow from the cars on the lot Tuesday morning, February 16, 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF
Beavercreek police community engagement officer Mark Brown advised not driving at all in the worst weather. Once you do go out, Brown advised allowing extra time, clearing your car completely, and being cautious.
“Don’t assume your vehicle can handle all conditions,” Brown said. “Even four-wheel and front-wheel drive vehicles can encounter trouble on winter roads.”
The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office was offering people rides to coronavirus vaccine appointments Tuesday if they didn’t think they could get there themselves, but had to cut that short due to an “overwhelming response.”
City of Kettering officials said Tuesday’s partial sunshine was a help in clearing the pavement, but continued cold temperatures will limit salt’s effectiveness at de-icing. The city is using calcium chloride on the roads instead when it is coldest.
Huber Heights canceled trash and recycling collection Tuesday, so everyone’s pick-up day will be one day later the rest of the week. Fairborn and Riverside also pushed back trash collection by one day.
“We’re digging out like everyone else,” said Huber Heights assistant city manager Bryan Chodkowski.
All cities gradually plowed their largest streets then residential neighborhoods Tuesday. Riverside and Miamisburg both said they hoped to have all residential streets plowed by the end of Tuesday. Vandalia anticipated plowing till midnight Tuesday.
Valerie Griffin, Miamisburg’s public works director, suggested for any storm that residents shovel snow to the right side of the driveway (as you’re looking from your house toward the street) to avoid having the plow push the snow back into the driveway apron.
No Dayton-area schools held in-person classes Tuesday. Kettering, Northmont and several other schools declared a full snow day, while others including Troy, Huber Heights, Xenia and Springboro moved their classes online for the day.
It made for a long weekend for some, as schools also had been closed Monday for Presidents Day.
Ohio schools are required to provide a certain number of “hours of instruction” during the school year, and as snow days start to pile up, schools have to make decisions.
Mad River Schools announced that starting Thursday, any further snow days will become remote learning days, with assignments posted for all students and teachers available via email and possibly Zoom.
“While ‘snow days’ are somewhat of a tradition, the fact that our students have been out of school has caused more disruption to their educational experience,” Superintendent Chad Wyen said.
Snow totals and stats
Snow totals were higher in some western and northern parts of the Dayton area, according to reports submitted to the NWS. Lebanon and Springboro had 4-5 inches, while much of the core Dayton area (Eaton, Miamisburg, Kettering, Xenia) reported 6 inches. Some areas in Miami County saw 8-9 inches, and Greenville reported 10 inches.
Areas to the south got a significant amount of sleet. NWS officials said that was due to a layer of much warmer air, about a mile up. Falling snow hit that 37-degree layer, melted, then partially refroze as it hit colder air closer to the ground.
Still, the 5.9 inches of snow measured at the Dayton airport was a record for the date Feb. 15, and was the highest single-day total since 6.1 inches Jan. 12, 2019. Those are the two largest single-day snowfalls in the past five years.
Staff Writers Nick Blizzard, Eileen McCrory, Bonnie Meibers, Eric Schwartzberg, India Duke and Daniel Susco contributed to this report.