Greater Cincinnati Government Offices, Services, Attractions Close Thursday as Rain Becomes Ice

As rain turns to ice, the number continues to grow.

click to enlarge Chill Hill at Voice of America Park - Photo:
Chill Hill at Voice of America Park

Several Greater Cincinnati entities are closed this week due to severe weather, and the number is growing.

Many local schools have canceled classes for Thursday, Feb. 3, including Cincinnati Public Schools.

According to an email, Hamilton County Administrator Jeffrey Aluotto has suspended all non-essential county operations for Thursday, Feb. 3. The Board of County Commissioners' meeting scheduled for 3 p.m. Thursday also has been canceled. No in-person offices, services or clinical locations are open, according to an additional email.

UC Health's drive-through community COVID-19 testing center also has closed for both Thursday, Feb. 3, and Friday, Feb. 4, an email from a media representative says. The center is scheduled to reopen at 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 5.

The Cincinnati Zoo has closed for Thursday, Feb. 3, according to its social media accounts.

The Newport Aquarium also announced via social media that it has closed for Thursday, Feb. 3.

The Found Footage Festival show scheduled for Feb. 3 at Memorial Hall has been postponed, according to an email from organizers.

Readers should check with their government, business and organization entities before heading out to find out if they're operational.

On Wednesday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear declared a state of emergency and preemptively closed state offices for Thursday in anticipation of severe weather. Kentucky continues to try to regain its footing after being ravaged by tornadoes and a months-long COVID-19 spike.

As of 8:45 a.m. Thursday, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has not followed suit, according to the governor's website and social media channels.

During a media briefing Wednesday at the Valley View Salt Dome, Cincinnati Mayor Aftab Pureval, Assistant City Manager Sheryl Long and Traffic and Road Superintendent Jarrod Bolden implored city residents to heed snow and ice warnings and stay home

Bolden repeatedly said that Cincinnati residents should stay at home and off the roads during the storm so that the Department of Public Services can clear or treat the streets.

"If you don't have to travel when the conditions are the worst, stay at home," Bolden said.

On Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service in Wilmington upgraded the Cincinnati area from a winter storm watch to a winter storm warning, thanks to Winter Storm Landon moving throughout the Rockies, Plains, Midwest and beyond. Meteorologists predicted rain in the area beginning on Wednesday, becoming sleet, ice and snow through Thursday. Though the exact amount of precipitation expected hadn't been determined at that point, the NWS says that the storm will continue through Friday.

Early Thursday morning, the NWS said that the rain will transition to a "wintry mix" Thursday evening.
A winter storm will affect the region today and tonight as colder air funnels southward while moisture moves up and over the cold air from the Gulf of Mexico. Locations along and southeast of the I-71 corridor will observe a transition from rain to a wintry mix to snow through tonight with various durations for each precipitation type. Snow tapers off on Friday and Arctic air builds in, leading to bitterly cold temperatures for the first part of the weekend.
"This is one of the worst combinations we could expect with the rain and then the ice and then the accumulating snow coming on top of that," Bolden told reporters.

Cincinnati residents can monitor main and neighborhood roads in real-time through the city's snow plow tracker. The tracker shows the time of the most recent treatment, and the data is searchable by time range, street name and neighborhood. 

Residents can also call the Department of Public Services at 513-591-6000 to get street information or provide information about weather-related incidents on the roads.

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