Snow, sleet, ice mix has Delaware, Franklin counties on high alert

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The mix of snow, sleet and rain that hit central Ohio on Wednesday morning, Dec. 26, has caused few incidents in Franklin and Delaware counties, but officials remain on alert as the winter storm system continues to move through Ohio.

Both counties have issued Level 1 snow emergencies, advising residents to remain cautious on the roadways and avoid traveling if possible.

Licking County and Union County, which were harder hit by the storm, issued Level 2 snow emergencies, meaning residents should drive only if trips were absolutely necessary.

“We’re just kind of monitoring things right now,” said Kelly McGuire, Franklin County Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman.

The agency did open its emergency operations center this morning and was in contact with Franklin County jurisdictions to see if help was needed and with the National Weather Service to determine what weather could be expected as the storm progresses, McGuire said.

“It will continue in this pattern: It will snow, and then it will go back to rain and sleet, and then back to snow,” McGuire said.

As of noon, no Franklin County municipalities were reporting serious problems or requesting assistance from the county, McGuire said. AEP reported few power outages.

In Delaware County, where 3 to 4 inches of wet snow accumulated, no major emergencies or accidents were caused by the snow, Emergency Management Agency director Brian Galligher said.

The storm did not seem as severe as predicted, with sleet and rain turning to a wet snow that did not blow or accumulate too heavily, Galligher said. The holiday also seemed to lessen its impact, he said, as fewer motorists were traveling locally.

“That’s why there isn’t such a bad event, because there are so many people with their families at home,” he said. “The biggest issues are the roads, but it’s not near as bad as what it is in other parts of the state or what was originally predicted.”

In both counties, officials are asking residents to exercise caution when heading out.

“We’re just recommending that people be careful when driving,” McGuire said. “If they can stay home, it would be much better. If they go out, they should have a full tank of gas and shovel, hat, gloves, basic survival things in case they get stranded.”

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