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The Suburbanite
  • 2014 ushers in cold, snow

  • Stark County has seen at least a foot more snow than normal for the season, according to National Weather Service records.
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  • Stark County has seen at least a foot more snow than normal for the season, according to National Weather Service records.
    As more snow fell Thursday, numerous communities enacted a snow ban to keep people from parking on roads and a few flights coming into the Akron-Canton Airport were canceled or delayed.
    Numerous crashes were reported, including two fatal collisions.
    A 75-year-old woman driving east on state Route 173 in Washington Township lost control on the snowy roads and slid broadside in front of a semi truck shortly after noon Thursday. Rick Walters, investigator for the Stark County Coroner's Office, said she was pronounced dead at the scene.
    A second fatal accident was later reported west of County Road 44 on U.S. Route 250 in Wayne County, where a 60-year-old woman lost control of her car and slid into the path of an oncoming snowplow.
    North Canton Collision began receiving calls for assistance Thursday morning and had responded to about a dozen by Thursday afternoon. Manager Kerri Wolf said at least two drivers are on duty during heavy snows to tow vehicles stuck or involved in accidents.
    "What we see a lot of is people sliding off the road into ditches," she said.
    Canton Towing also reported a busy day, responding to at least 91 calls by Thursday afternoon.
    The potential for hazardous weather, however, doesn't end when the snow stops falling. The weather service website at www.erh.noaa.gov said "another major winter storm" could strike Sunday.
    "The arctic-air mass, along with gusty winds, could produce some dangerously cold wind chills," the weather service said.
    While today's forecast includes wind-chill values as low as 12 degrees below zero, the temperature itself Monday night is expected to drop to minus 8 degrees, the weather service said.
    The cold spell "will be the coldest in several years," said Laurie Willard of the weather service.
    The record low for the first half of January was 13 degrees below zero on Jan. 13, 1912, weather service records show. The record low for January, however, was 25 degrees below zero in 1994.
    Comparatively, temperatures dipped as low as 16 degrees before noon Thursday. It was a toasty 19 degrees above zero at 1:45 p.m. Thursday at the Akron Canton Airport where it was snowing and winds were blowing out of the northeast at 17 mph, the weather service said. The wind-chill was listed at 4 degrees.
    BEFORE THE FLURRIES
    Until Thursday morning, Stark County had seen nearly 10 inches more snow this season than normal, weather service records showed. At 7 a.m. Thursday, the airport was reporting only a trace.
    Page 2 of 2 - Then the snow began.
    By 11 a.m., troopers from the Ohio Highway Patrol's Canton post were busy addressing about eight incidents in which drivers slid off the roadways into ditches, a dispatcher said. But no serious injuries had been reported.
    PARKING BANS
    Several communities declared snow emergencies and issued parking bans.
    Lake Township trustees have declared a snow emergency parking ban for township streets from when snowfall reaches two inches or any severe ice situation. The snow emergency will be in effect through noon Saturday.
    Plain Township trustees have instituted a parking ban through noon today.
    Canal Fulton is under a parking ban until snow plowing and snow-removal operations have been completed.
    Nimishillen Township has a parking ban through 4 p.m. Saturday.
    Louisville is under a parking ban on city streets and alleys anytime snowfall reaches two inches or more. The snow ban is in effect until further notice.
    Many schools across the county were still on Christmas break.
    At the Akron-Canton Airport, some United Airlines flights from Chicago were canceled Thursday and other arrivals delayed. Richard B. McQueen, airport president and CEO, said those with flights today should check with their airlines to see if planes are arriving or leaving on time.
    NEW SNOW
    By 6 p.m., 3.6 inches of snow had fallen and up to three more inches were expected Thursday night. Seasonal snowfall totaled 27.5 inches by Thursday evening, according to National Weather Service records. The normal amount is about 14 inches, making the Canton area about 13 inches above normal for this time of year.