West Side gets hit just as hard as the East in this Winter Blast

LAKEWOOD, Ohio - Usually Lake Effect snow dumps on the East Side but this time around, this Winter Blast hit the West Side just as hard helping to cause power outages and accidents.

All day and all night, I-90W from Lakewood on was a mess with vehicles spun out on both sides of the highway.  

Entrance and exit ramps were covered as was most of the highway, forcing drivers to take it down to speeds around 20 mph.  Winds blowing snow onto the highway made things even worse.  Some stretches of I-90W saw whiteout conditions while in other stretches, you could only see one and two cars ahead.

An accident also brought I-90W by Rt. 57 to a stand-still Thursday.

Off the highway was just as bad.  At a Circle K Gas Station near Avon, Kim Myers ran to fill her gas tank as soon as possible, flinching from the elements and snow that continued to pound the area.

"It's too cold!" she said hurrying inside her SUV.

Myers told NewsChannel 5 said she had been traveling all evening, going from the East Side to the West.

"Well I actually came from UH down in the East Side of Cleveland, came home and then had to get my daughter to gymnastics," said Myers. "How long was that trip?" we asked. "That was about two hours," said Myers, adding about the roads, "I think they're horrible."

Many patrons at that gas station and a next door GetGo said they were surprised to see so much snow so early.

"I've been here since 1997 and this is the most snow I've seen since January 1st so, it's amazing to me," said Garrett Estes.

His son was more excited to see the snow of course.  Also excited, Brad Oldfield who had just emptied a bag of ice melt at the Circle K Gas Station's entrance.

"This is falling green, this ain't white!" said Oldfield who plows for several Circle K's in Lorain County.  The storm means business is good, but Oldfield also has to travel on I-90 to get to those other jobs and was the first to caution drivers Thursday.

"Be safe," he said, "travel and just watch cars in front of you because you never know when they're going to slow down."

Others are hoping drivers will remember to check their vehicles.  That's what brought Bob Cuthbert out onto the treacherous roads.

"My gas tank is kind of low and I'm worried about fuel-line freeze-up, so that's why I came out this late in the the bad weather to get gas," said Cuthbert.

Comparing this storm to others Cuthbert said, "This is about on of the worst, from what they say, it's going to get down to like 3 below and so, that'll be pretty bad."

The storm helped shut off power on the West Side.  Streets in Lakewood sat in the dark closer to 6 o'clock Thursday.  The power has since been restored in some areas but FirstEnergy reports, there were still close to 600 customers without power closer to midnight.

Stick with NewsChannel 5 for the latest on this Winter Blast. 

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