By Steve Grazier, Maria Kacik Kula and Jennifer Pignolet
Medina County got its first blast of wintry weather Sunday and Monday, and the snow is expected to continue to fall through midweek.
Hinckley Township netted the most snow countywide with 4.2 inches between Sunday night and early Monday morning, while Medina saw about 4.2 inches during the same period, according to the National Weather Service.
“It’s all lake effect snow. It’s definitely lake effect,” Kristen Schuler, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service’s Cleveland office, said Monday morning.
Schuler said the county’s topography contributed to the blanket of snow on the ground.
Lower elevations in Cleveland received less than an inch overnight, she added. Medina County, which sits higher than certain areas to the north, recorded up to 5 inches of snow.
“You get the winds flowing uphill into Medina County” and they then dump snow on the area, she said.
Schuler said about 4 to 8 inches more would fall by the end of Monday. Another 1 to 3 inches of snow are on tap for today with snow starting to wind down on Wednesday.
It will vary significantly how much snow each area receives.
“It could really pile up in some areas, but in other areas it might not be so bad. We do our best to pinpoint the areas with the heavy accumulations, but the lake is so unpredictable,” she said.
The winter weather wreaked some havoc throughout the area.
Classes in the Highland Local School District were canceled Monday due to the weather.
Continuous snowfall since Sunday night has hampered traffic throughout Medina County, although no major traffic accidents had been reported through midday Monday, according to Chief Deputy Ken Baca of the Medina County Sheriff’s Office.
“We’ve got some roads with one lane open and a few people stuck in a ditch,” the chief said. “That’s about it.”
A dispatcher from the Ohio Highway Patrol’s Medina post said light snow covered most local roads and highways Monday morning. A minor, one-car accident with no injuries was reported about 6:40 a.m. at an Interstate 71 southbound exit ramp at state Route 18.
In Hinckley Township, Police Chief Tim Kalavsky said police, fire and rescue units dealt with eight accidents, two of which resulted in minor injuries, in a five-hour time frame Monday afternoon.
“Traffic got tied up for a long time,” he said of one accident involving a tractor-trailer in the 200 block of Center Road.
He said several vehicles have ended up in ditches and ravines and have had to be pulled out.
The chief said he encourages motorists to “slow it down.”
“Just because the speed limit is 50 doesn’t mean you have to go that fast,” Kalavsky said. “Make sure you are in control of your vehicle at all times.”