MARION, Ohio -- Towns in the northern portion of Central Ohio are preparing to dig out again after they've been the target of two separate snowstorms in one week. Saturday's storm, which largely brought rain to the Columbus area, dumped inches of snow on the city of Marion with wind to create drifts and wreak havoc on local snowplowing routes.
The accumulation began as an icy mix late Saturday morning and coated roads and highways in a slick, slushy mess. Wenren Zhou, who was traveling north to Michigan to see his girlfriend, slid off Route 23 mid-afternoon but was able to maneuver his car back onto the roadway.
"I was trying to pass a truck, and just slipped out of the road," Zhou said, offering some unsolicited advice for other drivers: "If you can, just stay at home."
Within city limits, plow crews were busy trying to clear paths before the county declared a snow emergency. ATC Lawn Care cleared the parking lot and sidewalks around St. Mary's Church for evening mass.
"We're just trying to keep this open while they've got church, but then we may go home and rest for a little bit," said snowblower operator Andrew Baker. His team spent 36 hours clearing lots and driveways last weekend and expected to be busy through Sunday this time.
"If the wind continues, we could go into Monday," Baker said.
That wind whipped gusts up above 40 miles per hour at times and drifted snow across roadways in areas outside Marion. Sidewalks were also hit-or-miss in the city as municipal crews focused on the roadways.
Plunging temperatures were expected to create dangerous freezing conditions by Sunday afternoon and into Monday morning.