Freezing rain hits Northeast Ohio

CLEVELAND - Get updates from around the region as winter weather closes schools and businesses, and also slows traffic and air travel. Let us know how the conditions are near you by emailing 5tips@newsnet5.com , tweeting us @WEWS , or writing on our Facebook wall .

6:34 p.m. It's a white-out by the Cleveland airport, but inside the airport, it's a ghost town.

6:25 p.m. The power is back on for some Stark County residents. AEP says just under 37,000 customers are currently without power, however, the Red Cross told NewsChannel5 that some people will be without power until Sunday.

5:32 p.m. According to First Energy's website, the current most concentrated areas without power include 415 customers in Elyria and 141 customers in Euclid.

5:31 p.m. AEP reports: Stark County: 37,017 of 102,447 customers are without power, this is 36.1 percent; Tuscarawas County: 5,140 of 34,161 customers are without power, this is 15 percent; Wayne County: 2,592 of 23,841 customers are without power, this is 10.9 percent.

3:55 p.m. AEP says 41,000 customers in Stark County, 5,300 customers in Tuscarawas County and just under a thousand customers in Carroll County are without power at this time.

3:35 p.m. Looking outside the station on Euclid, the snow has stopped. There's still a lot of slush out in the intersection and a few brave souls are walking in the street because the sidewalks are covered.

3:15 p.m. It's about 27 degrees in Canton and the snow is starting to fall on top of all that ice.

2:30 p.m. The roadway is covered on the Innerbelt Bridge, with visability at about a half mile. There are a lot of cars still out, but traffic was moving at around 40 mph.

12:08 p.m. Our crews in the downtown Cleveland area said ice is blocking some of the sewer vents, causing water to back up and form ponds in the street. A large, deep pond was spotted near the intersection of West 6th and St. Clair. People walking in the area had to take measures to get around it.

11:39 a.m.: Lorain County jumped from a handful of power outages to 2,174, according to First Energy's online map.  Cuyahoga County is down to 904 outages.  Stark County AEP customers are the ones hardest hit.  There are now 44,552 outages there as we approach noon.

11:26 a.m.: Reporter Paul Kiska reports heavy snow squalls and wind in the Akron area. At the CAK Airport, John James was supposed to catch a flight to Detroit, but discovered his flight was canceled. When he went back to his car, his flight was canceled.

11:19 a.m.: Our crew in the Canton area said ice salt is hard to find at local stores. The snow is starting to fall again.

11:07 a.m.: The Akron Zoo is closed to the public today because of the weather, but you can still see some of their penguins. The pictures zoo officials sent us are on the photo link to the left.

11:01 a.m.: Our downtown Cleveland cameras found people trying to avoid large piles of snow and ice as people try to go about their day in snowy and windy conditions.  We will have that new video coming up on NewsChannel5 at Noon.

10:58 a.m.: The interviews with people looking for a place to stay because of power outages, is now uploaded.  Click the video link to the left.

10:42 a.m.: We just got video back from one of our Stark County crews, showing people looking for a place to stay because they have no power.  We are uploading that now.

10:40 a.m.: A viewer just sent an email saying it's snowing again in Geauga County, and it's extremely windy. She says everything that melted earlier this morning is turning back into ice. We checked with Meteorologist Christine Ferreira, and she says wind gusts across the region are currently between 30 - 40 mph.

10:35 a.m.: If you see downed power lines, trees or branches, stay far away from them.  Before children go outside to play on this calamity day, make sure they understand how these lines can be live wires, and have deadly potential.  To report a downed line, tree, or branch, call your power company.  The numbers are here: http://tinyurl.com/4v69efp

10:25 a.m.: We talked with the Red Cross at the emergency center set up in Canton.  Workers say almost everyone they talk to is worried about the pets the left at home, and the meat in the refrigerator.  Earlier this morning, an AEP spokesperson told us it could take days for all of the power to be restored.  Currently, 59,000 people in Stark County alone, have no electricity.

10:13 a.m.: Here's a tweet about tonight's Cavs game, by The Akron Beacon Journal's Cavs beat writer: "Pacers made it into town Monday night to avoid storm, so game against #Cavs is still on for tonight as of now."

10:12 a.m.: Even though it's snowing again in parts of northeast Ohio, it could be worse. Reports out of Chicago say the city has received 17 inches of snow, with more still possible. Lake Shore Drive is shut down - the first time in years. And hundreds of drivers were stranded overnight after a series of crashes blocked the roadway.

10:07 a.m.: One of our Stark

County crews is sending in video of the ice-covered roads and power outages.  We are uploading it now.

9:59 a.m.: One of our news crews is at the Canton Memorial Civic Center, where some people have gone for help because they have no electricity. If you need a ride, call SARTA at 330-477-2782. And utility leaders and police keep reminding people to stay away from downed power lines, trees and branches.

9:53 a.m.: Three thousand people now have power restored in Stark County, but there are still 59,000 without electricity in the Canton area.  Canton remains under a state of emergency because of this major ice event.

9:36 a.m. Heavy snow is now falling in Avon Lake according a staff member, and it is snowing and very windy here at the station.

9:21 a.m.: Cuyahoga County power outages are down to 964 according to First Energy's power outage map.  The most outages are in Beachwood and Cleveland, with some in Lakewood and Maple Heights.  The total power outage number for northeast Ohio counties stands at under 69,000 at this minute.

9:15 a.m.: Portage County is still under a snow emergency, although it has been downgraded to a Level One, which means township and secondary roads are hazardous with partly icy conditions.

9:04 a.m.: Just in:  There is a winter weather advisory for lingering snow and sleet, according to meteorologist Christine Ferreira.  Meantime, watch out for falling temperatures.  The slushy mess on the ground will freeze.  Get more details here: http://tinyurl.com/4m7wmqn

8:58 a.m. A viewer in Barberton reports it's "snowing like crazy" and the wind is getting stronger.

8:56 a.m.: Just in: The Akron Zoo is closed today because of weather conditions.  As of now it is expected to re-open tomorrow.

8:52 a.m.: The statewide power outage number is now up to 240,000.  Utility company spokespeople say that number could go up even more, as winds pick up and temperatures drop.

8:45 a.m.: One of our facebook friends says there is an inch of ice on the sidewalks and driveways in Middlefield. He jokes he could see if the Lake Erie Monsters would like to use his driveway for practice.

8:37 a.m.: The temperature is dropping to around 30 degrees in Stark County, where there are at least 52,000 power outages. Our Stark County news crew is on I-77 South near the Akron-Canton Airport now, and they report it's beginning to sleet, and the wind is really picking up.  In fact, the driver has to use both hands to hold the steering wheel.

8:27 a.m.: Ohio's groundhog forecaster agrees with his better-known Pennsylvania cousin. Early spring is on the way. Buckeye Chuck did not see his shadow.  Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/4khllvm

8:24 a.m.: A viewer reports his power is back on in Auburn Township.

8:15 a.m.: First Energy report power outages in Cuyahoga County are down to 2,727.  Communities with the largest numbers of outages right now are Cleveland, Beachwood and Maple Heights.

8:12 a.m.: Student athletes in the Cleveland Heights-University Heights City School District will sign their letters of intent tomorrow because of school being closed today. Eight Cleveland Heights High School football players and two lacrosse players will sign letters of intent at noon n the Cleveland Heights High School auditorium.

8:08 a.m.: Power outages along W. 117th St. in Cleveland is creating a major traffic headache in the area of I-90.  No word on when traffic lights will be working again.

8:03 a.m.: The ground-breaking ceremony for the Greater Cleveland Aquarium has been postponed because of the ice storm.  A future date has not been announced.

7:58 a.m. Traffic is still at a crawl on I-90 into downtown Cleveland before Dead Man's Curve.  Look at your morning drive times here: http://www.newsnet5.com/subindex/traffic

7:47 a.m. Great news for the winter weary! Punxsutawney Phil is predicting an early spring. The groundhog made his annual weather forecast in front of thousands of people in Pennsylvania.  Read more about it here: http://tinyurl.com/4khllvm

7:46 a.m.: First Energy reports crews have restored power to about 9,000 customers in Cuyahoga County, but 6,589 still have no electricity.

7:35 a.m.: Across Ohio, there are 200,000 people with no power. American Electric brought in 600 workers from outside the state to help repair lines pulled down by ice buildup. There are currently more than 52,000 AEP customers in Stark County with no electricity. During the day, there could be even more outages. Forecasts show wind gusts could exceed 45 mph around the state.

7:21 a.m.: Power outages appear to be affecting a large portion of Lakewood and the west side of Cleveland, but these outages are not on First Energy's map.  A staff member just arriving at NewsChannel5 reports the area between Warren Road and W. 117th St. along I-90 is all dark.  Also, the Westpark neighborhood in Cleveland has no power.  We are efforting to contact First Energy again, but so far the official power outage number remains at around 70,000 for all of

northeast Ohio.

7:18 a.m.: Canton drivers are being asked to stay off the roads because of the state of emergency declared by the mayor. City hall is closed until further notice.  Read more here: http://tinyurl.com/4hu3kjb

7:14 a.m.: Main roads in downtown Akron are "fantastic".  That's the word from photojournalist Mike Vielhaber who is on Good Morning Cleveland via Skype.  The temperature warm-up has helped the salt melt the ice.  Mike is about to turn off onto side roads to check those out.

7:11 a.m.: RTA reports ice on the tracks is delaying the rails.  Trains and busses are running about 20 minutes behind schedule.

7:06 a.m.: There are now 72 canceled & delayed flights at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, and The Akron-Canton Airport. Get airline information here .  Look under the power company contact information.
 

7:02 a.m.: RTA is about to do a live interview on our extended edition of Good Morning Cleveland.

7:00 a.m.: Here is a breakdown of people with no power in Cuyahoga County - 6,964 in Cleveland, 6,678 in Garfield, 2,906 in Maple Heights, 906 in Beachwood, 657 in Shaker Heights.  Several other communities have scattered outages.

6:55 a.m.: Drivers should stay off the roads in Canton because of standing water, ice, downed lines, and no traffic lights.

6:41 a.m.: Canton's mayor declared a state of emergency.  Much of the city has no power.  There are a many downed power lines, trees, and fallen branches.  People are urged to stay away from downed lines.  The city's civic center is opening for people with no power who need shelter. The Red Cross is there to help. If you need a ride, call SARTA at 330-477-2782.

6:37 a.m.: Just in: Canton released details on its ice emergency.  We are reading the file and will have an update once we get through it.

6:32 a.m.: Justin Michaels just showed viewers on Good Morning Cleveland the ice is beginning to melt in Jackson Township in Stark County.  But there are still 52,000 AEP customers without power.

6:21 a.m.: Icy conditions are causing accidents on I-90 and I-71.  Get tips about driving on ice before you leave for work here: http://tinyurl.com/4zze9re

6:17 a.m.: The First Energy power outage map shows the Akron area is down to 133 outages from the 2,350 earlier this morning.  However, outages remain around 70,000 throughout the region.

6:10 a.m. Power outages are still around 70,000 in all northeast Ohio counties.  Contact power companies here: http://tinyurl.com/4v69efp

6:07 a.m.: Just in: Akron has issued a parking ban.  Crews are working to salt the icy roads.

6:00 a.m.: Pete and Kimberly are talking about the pictures viewers sent us early this morning of ice in their yards and neighborhoods.  You can submit your pictures here .

5:55 a.m.: More people are starting to hit the roads this morning, and we are reporting more traffic problems on Good Morning Cleveland.  You can also check the traffic incident report here .

5:48 a.m.: We've just posted video of a live report from Good Morning Cleveland showing what caused some power outages in Stark County.  Click the video tab on the left.

5:43 a.m.: American Electric Power representatives want to remind everyone to stay away from any downed power lines.  You should consider them live, and stay far away.

5:38 a.m.: An AEP spokesperson says it may take several days to make repairs from the ice damage that cut power to thousands of people in Stark County.  More than 52,000 in Stark County have no power, and that number is expected to rise as people wake up.

5:35 a.m.: The ice is beginning to melt in Stark County, according to reporter Justin Michaels.  His live report is on right now, on Good Morning Cleveland.

5:32 a.m.: One of our facebook friends reports there is heavy ice in Canton and it's still raining.
 

5:25 a.m.: Just in: Canton police called the newsroom and said the city's civic center is opening for people with no power who need shelter. The Red Cross is there to help. If you need a ride, call SARTA at 330-477-2782. Also, Canton courts are closed today. Only administrative functions are scheduled.

5:15 a.m.: There are 38 canceled or delayed flights at airports in Cleveland and Akron.

5:07 a.m.: Between AEP and First Energy customers, there are 72,496 people with no electricity in Cuyahoga, Stark, Summit, Holmes, Lorain, Wayne, Geauga, Portage, Tuscarawas, and Ashland counties.

4:54 a.m.: First Energy's power outage map now shows 19,000 people without power in Cuyahoga County. There are about 60,000 AEP and First Energy customers in Stark County without power.

4:42 a.m.:  Just in: Cleveland public schools are closed .  It just popped into our closing system, and we got a call in the newsroom from a city leader.

4:36 a.m.: A viewer tells us by email he lives in Auburn Township and has no power. We are getting more reports of power outages throughout the region.
 

4:33 a.m.: A staff member saw a spin out on the Shoreway into downtown from Lakewood.  The car was off the road and a tow truck

was on scene.

4:26 a.m.: More than 10,000 customers are without power in Cuyahoga County, according to a recent update from FirstEnergy.

3:50 a.m.: Flights going in and out of local airports have been delayed or cancelled because of the winter storm. According to Cleveland Hopkins Airport, 17 flights have been cancelled and the airport's website says, "There are no arriving flights at this time." 

The Akron-Canton Airport has cancelled 12 flights. You can get updates on flight status on the Akron-Canton Airport website.

3:15 a.m.: More outages are being reported, and FirstEnergy says that more than 9,000 customers are without power in Cuyahoga County.

2:40 a.m.: According to FirstEnergy, more than 10,000 customers are without power in Northeast Ohio. Some of the hardest hit areas are Cleveland and Garfield Heights, which each have over 3,000 outages. Akron has about 1,800 outages. We will continue to update the story as more outages are reported, or as power is restored.

2:30 a.m: AEP Outage map reporting over 42,000 cutsomers without power in Stark Co.

2:15 a.m.: Canal Fulton outages down to just under 500, Massillon just under 2,000 for First Energy customers. Stark County AEP outages up to over 41,000.

2:00 a.m.: Canal Fulton and Navarre experiencing over 1,000 outages according to the First Energy outage map. Massillon at almost 2,5000.

1:45 a.m: First Energy is reporting about 6,000 customers without power in Cuyahoga County.  The majority of outages are in Garfield Heights and Cleveland at almost 3,000 outages in each city.

1:30 a.m.: AEP outage map now reports over 40,000 customers without power in Stark County. Tuscaraws County now at almost 6,000.

Midnight: AEP reported that more than 20,000 of its customers are without power in Stark County with an additional 2,000 outages in Tuscaraws County. First Energy says power has been restored to most Canal Fulton customers.

11:30 p.m.: The ice is weighting down on branches in North Canton, causing limbs to fall.

10:55 p.m.: With about 1,300 people without power in Massillon, the total of outages in Stark County is more than 4,500, according to First Energy. AEP reported more than 8,500 of its customers are without pawer in Stark County and there are 2,200 outages in Tuscarawas County.

10:30 p.m.: First Energy says more than 1,400 people are without power in Stark County, with most of those customers in Canal Fulton.

9:57 p.m.: First Energy is reporting that power has been restore in North Royalton.

9:36 p.m.: According to First Energy, power has been restored to Berea, but 2,100 in North Royalton remain without power.

8:39 p.m.: One Twitter follower said power has been off at their home in North Royalton for almost an hour, but across the street, the lights are still on.

8:10 p.m.: More than 3,100 people are without power in Cuyahoga County. First Energy says 2,169 residents in North Royalton and 802 residents in Berea are experiencing a power outage.

7: p.m.: From Middlefield to Orwell, there is freezing rain. One viewer said she had trouble keeping her windshield clear while driving. In Canton, roads are slick. It's sleet mixed with freezing rain and driveways are iced over.

6:55 p.m.: Canal Fulton is encased in ice, according to one Facebook fan. In Independence, there’s no freezing rain yet.

6:40 p.m.: The winds are kicking up in Lorain and the rain is coming down hard. Norwalk is seeing freezing rain now on top of this morning’s snow.

6:10 p.m.: In Dover, the freezing rain has been falling for about two hours. The roads are super slippery and the sidewalks are iced over.

5:51 p.m.: Our Facebook fans report freezing rain in Perrysville, Elyria and Brecksville.

5:40 p.m.: Mansfield has been seeing sleet for more than an hour, and in Sandusky, the freezing rain is just getting started.

5: 25 p.m.: The sheriff has declared a level 2 snow emergency for Huron County.

4:50 p.m.: Mentor announced the Mentor Municipal Center on Civic Center Boulevard will serve as an emergency shelter. It will have accommodations for the elderly and people who need to use oxygen tanks.

4:40 p.m.: The city of Akron announced it will use all 13 fire stations for emergency shelters in preparation for freezing rain. In a news release, the city said if the stations become too full with people, transit will move them to the Red Cross facility on West Market Street.

4:21 p.m.: In Canton, the rain is starting to come down hard. The temperature is only around 25 degrees and the rain is freezing on contact.

4 p.m.: The freezing rain is starting up a little in Cleveland.

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