So much snow!

By LISA NICELY @CNLisaNicely nicely@crescent-news.com Published:

Northwest Ohio remains under a winter storm warning today as wind gusts up to 35 mph are expected.

The entire six-county area remained on a level 3 snow emergency as of this morning.

At a level 3, all roadways are closed to everyone except emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their places of employment to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.

The level 3 advisories and poor road conditions have caused many businesses to close today. In Paulding County, all county -level government offices were closed today. Defiance County offices and Defiance City Hall are also closed.

A list of business and office closings submitted to The Crescent-News is available online at www.crescent-news.com.

National Weather Service officials said while most of the accumulating snow has ended the winds will cause significant blowing and drifting that will keep roads impassible or at least restricted to one lane.

Several accidents occurred in the six-county area as vehicles slid off of snow-covered roadways over the weekend.

In Defiance, the north side hill was closed for a time Sunday as semis had difficulty negotiating the hill.

Snow accumulations for the area are still being reported. As of this morning, 9 inches was reported in Defiance, 14 inches in Paulding, 7 inches in Bryan and 10 inches in Swanton.

The biggest issue is the drop in temperatures. Wind chills are expected to be between 30-45 degrees below zero through Tuesday. Frost bite and hypothermia can occur shortly in those conditions.

"From what we've seen it will be less than 10 minutes to just a few minutes (to get frost bite)," said Michael Skipper of the National Weather Service." When you get down to near 40 below flesh can freeze in a few minutes. Its a very dangerous situation. You want every bit of skin protected as possible and be out as little as possible."

The Defiance County Emergency Management Agency has put together several cold weather guidelines for those who must be outside for even a short period of time.

These include the following precautions:

• Wear several layers of clothing.

• Cover the ears, wear gloves, and use a warm wool hat or helmet liner.

• Wear synthetic or cotton clothing on the skin.

• Wear warm footwear with one or two pairs of warm socks. Footwear worn too tightly will restrict blood flow and cause more harm than good. Wool is the fabric of choice.

• Wear a scarf or face mask to protect lungs from extreme cold

• Take frequent, short breaks in warm shelter to rejuvenate body heat

• Avoid exhaustion or fatigue - energy is needed to keep muscles warm

• Drink warm, sweet beverages and avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol

• Eat warm, high-calorie foods

• Workers taking medication, in poor physical condition, or who suffer from illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure or cardiovascular disease should speak with a doctor for additional advice.

For those interested in how this storm compared to the Jan. 26, 1978, blizzard -- approximately 14 inches of snow fell in Defiance County at that time with wind gusts of 50-70 mph, according to the National Weather Service.

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