A salt truck from the Butler County Engineer’s Office plows snow from Elk Creek Road in Madison Township after snow blanketed Butler County causing slick road conditions Saturday, Jan. 12. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

First storm of year hits, Butler County drivers urged: ‘Slow down’

Emergency dispatchers fielded dozens of calls reporting accidents and slide-offs countywide.

There were four accidents on Interstate 75 by Saturday afternoon, one involving a tanker truck hauling refrigerated nitrogen.

Ohio State Patrol dispatcher Travis Jones said drivers this weekend — snow was predicted for both Saturday and Sunday — need to take it easy.

“Slow down,” he said. “If the speed limit’s 65, that doesn’t mean you can go 65. Slow down.”

RELATED: What Butler County crews do to prepare for storms like today’s

The tanker and another accident were both on northbound 75 at Tylersville Road, and two other slid- offs happened at Union Centre Boulevard and on the northbound ramp at Cincinnati Dayton Road.

Butler County dispatchers fielded about 60 emergency calls for accidents, slide offs and other incidents involving vehicles. There were no serious injuries in any of the dust-ups with the winter weather.

Early Saturday, Butler County Chief Engineer Dale Schwieterman said, “Right now the roads are not in great shape,” but by the afternoon, he said the 16 crews plowing and salting roads had things under control.

“There was a big improvement out there the last few hours,” he said even as the county was bracing for a new wave of snow.

He said they called the crews in early at around 2:30 a.m. because the storm hit earlier than anticipated and was pretty “intense.” A fresh crew came in at 2:30 p.m., and Schwieterman said crews will be on the roads until the storm subsides.

“It’s pretty much what we were expecting,” Schwieterman said of the 4- to 6-inch snowfall totals that were predicted. “Our guys will go around the clock… we’ll continue on that cycle until we stop.”

The weather was too much for workers at the Smoothie King on Cincinnati Dayton Road in Liberty Twp., where they shut their doors at around 11 a.m.

“Sorry for the inconvenience today,” signs on the doors read. “We closed at 11 due to the weather. Drive safe!”

Brian Rivera was shoveling snow next door at Penn Station on Saturday morning, a new experience for him.

“It’s the first time working with snow for me,” he said. “It’s hard.”

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