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Bitter cold temperatures will freeze Toledo and surrounding areas this week as a frigid and snowy winter wears on.
Dangerously cold conditions — predicted by the National Weather Service to be the coldest temperatures since 1994 — along with snow and blowing snow has prompted the weather service to post hazardous weather outlooks as well as wind-chill advisories and wind-chill warnings in the region through midweek.
But on Sunday, area residents took advantage of a snowy day with slightly warmer temperatures. Some hopped on snowmobiles or cross-country skis, some shoveled out walkways, and a handful of hardy souls went sledding at Ottawa Park.
It was Christian Swartz’s first time swooping down a snow-packed hill — a significant achievement for a 4-year-old. He was joined by his father, Chad Swartz of Toledo, and some friends.
They hadn’t been sledding yet during this winter for one simple reason.
“It’s been too cold,” Mr. Swartz said.
They took a hot chocolate break for a few minutes before heading back out on the hill for some more sledding runs with their companions.
The Level 2 snow emergency in Lucas County meant for a slightly slower day for Gayle Francis, owner of the Monroe Street Diner. The winter weather and poor road conditions have taken a toll on business this season.
Her regulars still came in on Saturday and Sunday, but business slowed down earlier than usual. The mornings also have been a little slow.
As of 5 p.m. Sunday, 2.5 inches of snow had fallen during the day, bringing the monthly total at Toledo Express Airport to 38.9 inches and the season total to 50.6 inches.
The record January snowfall now exceeds Toledo’s normal average snowfall for an entire winter, 37.6 inches.
The cold weather also posed some problems for firefighters who battled a blaze early Sunday near Wauseon in Fulton County that destroyed a house, causing an estimated $150,000 worth of damage, according to Wauseon Fire Chief Rick Sluder.
A man and woman were inside the house when they woke up to the sound of items falling in the 12000 block of County Road E. They escaped without injury.
Cold weather froze pumps and valves on fire trucks, which had to be taken to stations and thawed out.
In some counties, such as Williams, Fulton, Defiance, and Henry, a wind chill warning is in effect into Wednesday morning with dangerous wind chills of -20 to -35, plummeting to -40 Tuesday morning.
Columbia Gas of Ohio asked customers to reduce their natural-gas use “as much as appropriate” to ensure adequate supplies during a “period of extremely high natural-gas consumption.”
Peak natural-gas usage was expected Tuesday.