Also, since I'm going to a certain relative's big birthday blowout and won't be online for a couple of days, happy birthday this weekend to curiouswombat and maharet83!!!! Clearly, a *very* good month for birthdays.
It's a miracle I lived long enough to post this, after not only visiting Wal-Mart on the day after Christmas but also navigating the skating-rink wasteland behind my other daughter's house. :-)
About 90 weather related incidents were called in to the Noble County Sheriff's Department as a result of still another wave of freezing rain Friday.
Dispatchers recorded 48 slide-offs, 27 accidents involving property damage, and 9 disabled vehicles, mostly between 6 a.m. and noon. Although no one was reported hurt in the crashes, EMS units responded to 6 reports of injuries from falls that day. It wasn't certain how many were weather related, but rain falling on already standing ice caused very slippery conditions around the area.
Sleet and freezing rain started passing over the area from the west at around 5:30 a.m., quickly freezing to road surfaces. Temperatures continued to rise throughout the day; by midnight it was in the 50's, which caused heavy fog to blanket the area, as well as flooding problems. However, throughout Friday morning ice remained the major problem.
Highway trucks were called out to spread sand, along with whatever salt was available, but surfaces were so slippery that even those vehicles had trouble getting around. A Noble County Highway truck slid into the ditch near CR 450N and SR 5, but was freed a short time later. Another was involved in a minor accident on the east side of Noble County Some roads were some slippery that Highway Dept. drivers reported having to back up their trucks as they laid sand, to give themselves enough traction to continue on.
It wasn't just the county roads, where there was still some ice and snow from previous storms: At least four accidents were reported on SR 9, and six more on SR 8. At one point several vehicles reportedly went off the road along SR 8, in the area of Skinner Lake. Before it was confirmed that no one was hurt there, a responding firefighter reported that the fastest safe speed on the highway was no more than 10 mph.
Another flurry of slide-offs happened at around 10 a.m. on US 33, near Albion Road. In many cases road conditions were so dangerous that the ditched vehicles could not be rescued until later; so many incidents happened that extra police officers had to be called out to work the accidents and provide traffic control.
Must of the roadways were free of ice by late Friday night, although some sidewalks and parking lots remained hazardous as rain continued to fall, making the remaining ice even slicker. At 4:40 a.m. Saturday an Albion Police officer discovered a full size van in the street in the 600 block of West South Street; he determined that the vehicle had lost traction on the inclined driveway it had been parked on, causing it to slide into the road by itself.