Tri-State counties issue travel advisories for Thursday

Officials urge caution on roads
Drivers in snow Cincinnati.jfif
Posted at 5:36 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-11 06:29:53-05

Snow left over from Tuesday's near-record weather system, combined new snowfall and chances for ice Wednesday, prompted many Greater Cincinnati communities to declare winter weather emergencies before Thursday. Their message: avoid traveling if you can.

Several Tri-State counties and other communities are under travel advisories and snow emergencies, including:

Level 1 (Ohio and KY):

  • Hamilton
  • Gallatin
  • Grant
  • Mason
  • Boone

Level 2 (Ohio and KY):

  • Adams
  • Brown
  • Campbell
  • Highland
  • Kenton
  • Owen
  • Pendleton
  • Robertson

Orange (Indiana):

  • Dearborn
  • Ohio

Yellow (Indiana):

  • Switzerland
  • Ripley
  • Jefferson
  • Franklin

Though it varies by county and city, generally in Ohio and Kentucky, a Level 1 emergency means road conditions are hazardous due to blowing and drifting snow. Roads may be icy, too, so motorists are urged to drive very cautiously. A Level 2 emergency means there's more ice on the road, and you should only be traveling if it's necessary. At Level 3, roads close to non-emergency personnel.

Indiana uses a yellow/orange/red color system to denote the level of travel advisory. Yellow, the lowest level, means drivers should use caution due to hazardous conditions. At orange, people should only drive in case of emergency. At red, the highest travel alert level, roads close to everyone but emergency management workers.

Depending on where you live, snowfall amounts could total between 1 to 2 inches of snow overnight into Thursday morning. Ice amounts could reach one-tenth to two-tenths of an inch to the south, which could develop icy spots on roads.

Because of the forecasted ice, many schools are closed or on delays Thursday. Find a full list of more than 90 closures and delays here, and follow along with our weather updates and its impact on traffic here.

Interstates and highways were quickly covered in snow Wednesday before rush hour. By 8 p.m., conditions hadn't improved on south I-71 heading Downtown.

Shown in this time-lapse video from Matt Bruning with Ohio's Department of Transportation, it didn't take long for Cincinnati's busiest interstates to be coated in snow.

Highway conditions in Boone County, Kentucky, weren't looking much better.

Drivers traveling on the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge also saw slowdowns during rush hour Wednesday.

I-471 Daniel Carter Beard Bridge
Slow traffic on I-471 heading north along the Daniel Carter Beard Bridge, Feb. 10, 2021.

And later, on I-471, a jackknifed semi blocked a southbound ramp to I-275. This scene cleared by 7:15.

As of 4 p.m., the AAA Roadside Rescue Team responded to more than 500 requests for emergency roadside assistance, for a total of more than 2,700 roadside service requests for tow, battery, tire and extraction issues since Sunday.

Just hours after snow began to fall Wednesday afternoon, Cincinnati Police had reported several crashes and closed some steep roads due to insurmountable ice and snow. Police ask drivers who were involved in a non-injury crash Wednesday not to call 911. Instead, they ask that all parties swap information and report the crash when you can at a Cincinnati Police District location.

Traffic on Columbia Parkway slowed to a crawl just after 5 p.m. due to snow, and drivers continued to struggle hours later.

Columbia Pkwy standstill
Traffic on Columbia Parkway due to snow, Feb. 10, 2021.

To the north, in Madeira, commuters navigated more than an inch of snow on the roadway.

madeira snow.PNG
Drivers navigate snow on Miami Avenue and Dawson Road in Madeira, Feb. 10, 2021.

And this still from drone video by David Donaldson shows Colerain Township blanketed in snow.

colerain twp snow.PNG
Still from drone video showing Colerain Township covered in snow, Feb. 10, 2021.