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What you need to know before hitting the road in snowy, icy conditions

Posted at 4:30 AM, Jan 12, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-12 07:06:36-05

CINCINNATI -- Workers at the Hamilton County Communications Center knew Thursday night they likely had a busy 48 hours ahead. During the ice storm of December 2016, they took over 1,000 calls between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. the following day.

"It was extremely busy," operations manager Brian MacMurdo said.

That's why, in preparation for a similar snowstorm predicted to hit the Tri-State between noon Friday and Saturday morning, the Center added staffers to process the anticipated influx of weather-related Friday night calls. Between black ice, poor visibility and cars skidding into one another's tails, poor weather creates a high demand for their help.

The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office requested drivers pay increased attention to their surroundings, drive slowly and keep a cold-weather kit in their cars in case of emergency.

Deputies will be on call throughout the night, but Capt. Tom Butler reminded the public that sheriff's department vehicles are subject to all the same limitations as yours -- it will take them a little longer than normal to respond to a crash without causing another one.

"I haven't met a vehicle that can stop on ice," he said. 

Additionally, Butler requested anyone who found themselves involved in a minor crash -- one in which no one was injured and both cars could safely leave the scene -- not call 911. Instead, he recommended they exchange information with the other driver and wait until after the storm to file an accident report.

"We prioritize the crashes and come out to the serious ones," he said. "That's why we ask you to exchange information and then leave the scene and report it later."

Depending on your municipality, you have between 24 and 48 hours to report a crash to the police.