Winter chill blankets Ohio, againWritten by Associated Press | | firstname.lastname@example.org
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Not everyone could escape the near-zero temperatures enveloping Ohio again. Workers whose jobs kept them outside had no choice but to bundle up.
Bicycle messenger Daniel Dominic put his cold-weather plan into action, throwing on extra layers in the morning, then peeling back layers as he warmed up. He also filled up with plenty of coffee and soup.
“Mind over matter, really. I pretty much suffer all day long,” said Dominic, who delivers packages to offices buildings in downtown Cleveland. “It takes your breath away. It really does.”
Wind chill warnings blanketed Ohio as temperatures fell below zero in all but a few cities. Dayton, Mansfield and Wilmington all had high temperatures of 7 degrees.
At mid-afternoon Thursday, Findlay, Lima and Marion were registering 1 degree. The hot spot was Athens in southeast Ohio at 14 degrees.
It was expected to get worse with temperatures barely breaking into single digits, and schools across the state canceled classes for Friday. Temperatures were expected to climb into the 20s over the weekend but won’t break 30 until next week.
Five people have died in automobile accidents around the state since Tuesday, when the harsh cold and snow began, State Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Tony Bradshaw said. The patrol has also responded to 950 accidents – about 100 of which had injuries – in the last two and a half days, he said.
In northeast Ohio, Vijaya L. Emani, 51, of Strongsville, was killed Thursday morning along an icy stretch of the Ohio Turnpike near Streetsboro. Authorities said she was struck by a truck as she was standing near her car, which had been hit by another vehicle.
Road crews were combining calcium chloride with salt to help melt road ice. Some mixed in sand to help with traction.
“But when it’s this cold, there’s not much that works,” said Mary Carran Webster, the assistant public service director in Columbus. “It’s hard to melt anything when you have a wind chill of minus something.”
Long underwear and an insulated canvas body suit helped protect Jeff Herman while he collected coins for the city from parking meters in downtown Dayton.
“As long as I keep moving, it stays warm,” he said. A black woolen cap with flaps pulled over his face helped, too.
“Today’s the first time I’ve had to pull them down,” he said. “I’d been able to go without it, but it’s just too bitter on the face.”
Students, office workers and commuters waiting for buses in downtown Cincinnati all said they were outside only because they had no choice.
“I’m wearing long johns, a jogging suit, a scarf, hat, gloves, a sweater and a coat, and I’m still cold,” said Ingrid Hicks, who was waiting for a bus to the airport so she could fly to Atlanta to celebrate her grandson’s first birthday.
She had about a 20-minute wait for the bus.
“On a day like today, that’s 20 minutes too long,” she said.
Susan Oilar’s dog, Solomon, forced her to go out for a quick trip to a park in Columbus. He had to take care of business.
But the lanky black and white Great Dane looked colder than his owner, who was bundled in a hat, long coat and scarf. “When I come out later tonight, I’ll have even more layers _ the snowsuit, the whole thing,” said Oilar, owner of Three Dog Bakery.
In southwest Ohio, a water line break left three prisons without water Thursday morning. At one site, the Lebanon Correctional Institute, water is used to heat the facility and firefighters hauled water to the prison.
Homeless shelters were trying to squeeze in as many people as possible.
Cots and mats set up in conference rooms and boardrooms were being filled at the Cherry Street mission in Toledo, said Charles Allen, director of men’s ministries.
They were expecting to house about 190 people Thursday night.
“At these temperatures, people that would normally squat somewhere or sleep in a vehicle, this is enough to drive them to seek shelter,” Allen said.