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):
Level 2 (Ohio and KY):
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.
Accumulating snow is causing a treacherous commute across Cincinnati. Please use extra caution and adjust your plans accordingly. pic.twitter.com/IvxMoZqX9r— NWS Wilmington OH (@NWSILN) February 10, 2021
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.
This is a time lapse of about 45 minutes. That's how quickly the snow came and covered the roadways in Cincinnati this afternoon. Wow! pic.twitter.com/8D8WMlS1Zb— Matt Bruning (@mbruning81) February 10, 2021
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.
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.
The following locations are reported impassable at this time— Cincinnati Police Department (@CincyPD) February 10, 2021
WESTWOOD NORTHERN WEST OF BEEKMAN
ALL OF HARRISON HILL
Traffic on Columbia Parkway slowed to a crawl just after 5 p.m. due to snow, and drivers continued to struggle hours later.
To the north, in Madeira, commuters navigated more than an inch of snow on the roadway.
And this still from drone video by David Donaldson shows Colerain Township blanketed in snow.