Six-year-old Molly Mullan climbed onto her wooden sled with only one thought as she looked down the steep hill.
“Daddy, can you push me harder?” she yelled over her shoulder to her father.
She screamed out of excitement as her little body rattled and bounced as she zigged her way to the bottom.
“I want to go again!” she said as the sled slowed down.
Most northwest Ohio school districts canceled classes Friday in anticipation of an unrelenting snowstorm. Areas well north and northwest of Toledo got just that, with more than a foot of snow falling in part of Lenawee County, while in most of Toledo the significant snow ended by early afternoon and was less than half a foot.
As of 5 p.m., the National Weather Service office in Cleveland said 3.7 inches of snow had fallen at Toledo Express Airport. While up to an inch more was possible later in the evening, that still placed Toledo’s official reporting station at the bottom end of a 5-to-9-inch range the weather service had predicted Thursday for the storm in Toledo.
Jay Berschback, chief meteorologist at WTVG-TV Channel 13, said higher accumulations were reported by spotters across the northern edge of Lucas County, such as nearly 6 inches in Sylvania and more than 5 in Point Place.
Unofficial spotter reports across southeast Michigan ranged from 8-9 inches in Adrian and 9-10 inches in Monroe to 11 in Clinton and “12 and climbing” in Brooklyn as of 8 p.m., Mr. Berschback said. Reports from west of Toledo included 7 inches in Wauseon, 8 in Bryan, 9 in Pioneer, and 10 in Hicksville, while significantly lighter snowfalls were reported south and east of the city.
Toledo’s snowiest day this winter before Friday had been Christmas Eve, when 3.4 inches fell at the airport.
While snow days conjure thoughts of sleeping in, hot chocolate, and video games, some Toledo students flocked to the sledding hills to enjoy the snow.
Matt Mullan, a teacher at Whitmer High School, brought his three daughters, Molly, Daisy, 8, and Johanna, 5, to Side Cut Metropark in Maumee to enjoy the impromptu day off.
Families and students came in droves to Side Cut to delight in the winter wonderland. Some went headfirst, and others went in groups as they propelled down the hill like rockets in their plastic sleds.
City street crews began their snowy Friday early working to clear main routes as slick pavement slowed the morning commute.
Jeremy Mikolajczyk, the city’s commissioner of streets, bridges, and harbor, said he had 60 plows on the streets and employees working 12-hour shifts. His crews saw a lull in the snowfall Friday afternoon and used that as an opportunity to catch up as they prepared for more snow later in the day.
“It actually tapered off for us a little bit. It looks like the majority of it went to the north of us, so we’re looking at maybe a quarter-inch per hour for the remainder of the day off and on,” he said. “We should be able to keep up with it.”
City crews filled plow trucks with salt on Friday around 1 p.m. and hit the streets to begin salting the main thoroughfares that had been cleared of snow. County officials by 3 p.m. announced the snow emergency had been canceled.
@city_of_toledo and @ODOT_Toledo crews are out working hard to clear our streets & highways. Help them help us and stay out of their way, give them room to work! #toledostrong pic.twitter.com/9OnahMN8er— Toledo Fire & Rescue (@ToledoFire) February 9, 2018
Mr. Mikolajczyk said crews will begin plowing secondary and residential streets Saturday, but it may take until Sunday to reach some residential streets. He asked motorists to continue to use caution on streets even if they’re cleared of snow.
“Still be cautious out there,” he said. “There are slick spots. Even areas that may look wet could freeze on you.”
Friday morning brought a slow-going commute for drivers because of heavy snow, and several downtown business owners were out shoveling their sidewalks early Friday.
Toledo Police Chief George Kral announced at about 8:30 a.m. that his officers were operating under Phase 2, which means they only responded to crashes where people were injured or vehicles blocked traffic.
Police radio communications indicated several injury crashes throughout the morning, but by early afternoon traffic in the area was mostly clear.
TPD is operating under Phase 2. Meaning we are only responding to injury crashes or those blocking the roadway. If you get into a fender bender exchange info and head to a district station for the report.— Chief George Kral (@gkraltoledo) February 9, 2018
For the weekend, Mr. Berschback said, scattered snow showers and freezing drizzle Saturday will be a “nuisance” in the Toledo area, while on Sunday the region will be on the northern flank of a storm riding east through the Ohio Valley.
The city could get 1 to 3 inches of snow plus a glaze of ice, he said, while a greater chance of freezing — rather than already frozen — precipitation is possible to Toledo’s south and east.
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