Icy conditions early Thursday morning resulted in school delays around Highland County and an advisory for drivers to watch out for slick roadways and bridges.
The weather system that brought the sleet and freezing rain Wednesday night into Thursday morning was also to blame for close to 3,000 power outages in the county after trees split under the weight of the ice and crashed down on anything underneath, including power lines.
At around 3 p.m. Thursday, an ice-laden tree reportedly fell on an electric service line and caused much of the northern half of Hillsboro to lose power for a few hours, according to an AEP spokesman.
South Central Power Communications Manager Mark Owen told The Times-Gazette that almost 2,500 of their customers were without power Thursday morning.
“All available crews were out working just as quickly as they could given the weather conditions,” he said.
Owen said the problems were mainly caused by fallen trees, and that South Central crews worked closely with personnel from AEP, assisting in switching and debris removal to restore power to customers.
AEP reported more than 300 of its customers were without power Thursday morning.
Scott Michael of the Ohio Department of Transportation office in Hillsboro said crews began treating area roadways Wednesday night with salt and brine.
“All 12 of our trucks were out starting at 11:30 p.m.,” he said, “and for the rest of the night we were out spreading salt and spraying brine on the highways to hold back the ice.”
Dispatcher Tiffany Wahl of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Post in Wilmington said that officers were back on the road responding to traffic accidents almost as soon as they clocked in for duty.
She had some advice for motorists navigating local roadways when icy weather hits.
“Use extreme caution,” she said, “and remember that bridges and overpasses freeze before the roadway.”
Some areas of Highland County saw thick flurries of snow later Thursday afternoon.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.