How the strong winter storms in Northeast Ohio can impact your Christmas travel plans

Published: Dec. 18, 2022 at 10:47 PM EST

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - As the 19 First Alert Weather team tracks a system predicted to bring a significant snowstorm by Christmas Eve, road crews say they’re prepared to pretreat and plow to keep everyone safe this holiday.

A storm that will likely begin with a mix on rain and snow on Thursday evening, is expected to transition to heavy snow in Northeast Ohio on Friday.

So, what does that mean for holiday travelers?

N.J. Deitrick with Reliable Snowplowing Specialists say they are already getting prepared to plow commercial lots, which include shopping spots whose lots could become covered in snow in the 11th-hour rush.

“Looks like Wednesday through Friday we’ve got some significant threat of winter weather coming in. We know it’s going to be windy, and we know it’s going to be really cold by the holidays.”

ODOT workers will be on the front lines pretreating the roads and then plowing to clear the way for motorists to get to where they’re going for Christmas.

Crystal Neelon is the Public Information Officer for District 3, with ODOT, “Whenever we have a chance of snow, especially on a holiday weekend, when we know there’s going to be an increase in traffic on the roadways you definitely want to give yourself some extra time to get to and from your destination.”

Being prepared to adjust your travel plans is the best way to ensure that the weather and the Grinch don’t steal your Christmas, Neelon with ODOT says, “That way in case you run into either bad weather, or a traffic backup for some reason you’re not rushing yourself to get to where you want to be and putting yourself and others in danger. So, you always want to give yourself some extra time.”

It’s also a good idea to have a full tank of gas, a fully charged cell phone, bottled water, a blanket, a candle and a shovel just in case you run into an accident or become the victim of one.