Columbus City Schools, along with many schools throughout the state, are closing early because of ice and snow expected later this afternoon. Ohio Department of Transportation crews are already preparing for the storm, which could blanket Ohio in up to five inches of snow by Saturday.
Matt Bruning of ODOT says road crews in all parts of Ohio are busy.
“More than 1,300 snow plows, 3,000 drivers driving those snow plows, and they’ll all be on duty all weekend long until we get all of this snow and ice cleaned up and roads cleared,” Bruning says.
Bruning says this kind of storm is the most difficult for ODOT.
“Ice and freezing rain is, by far, the toughest thing to deal with because it comes down in liquid form so a lot of what we put down on the highways simply washes off,” Bruning says. “So you’ve got to use a lot more salt to keep ahead of it to keep those roadways salted.”
Many schools, universities, and businesses are closing early Friday to get out ahead of the storm, which is supposed to hit at rush hour.
Several Ohio State campuses, including Mansfield and Newark, are closing just after noon, and Capital University campuses will all close at 3 p.m. All Columbus City high schools and middle schools will dismiss early and all after-school sports have been canceled, while elementary schools will dismiss at their regular times.