Winter snow and cold creates dangerous conditions for holiday travelers

Published: Dec. 23, 2022 at 11:22 PM EST

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Pack your patience if you’re hitting the highway for the Christmas holiday. Because a dangerous snowstorm that’s packed a punch in Northeast Ohio with blowing and drifting snow, icy roads, and painful subzero wind chills is slowing travelers down.

Colleen Tatkus of Toledo says getting from Toledo to Pittsburgh has been slow going, “Horrible. Horrible. We were rerouted off of Interstate 80 because there was like a 50-car pileup.”

This winter storm is far worse than what travelers Chrissy Hunt, husband David, and son Henry expected, “We left at 10 a.m. this morning from South Bend, Indiana and it’s been about 7 hours for what should have been less than 4 hours.”

Hunt says the dangerously cold temperatures and icy roads are brutal and so are the detours, “Multiple highways have been closed, detours, side roads that are closed. We’re just ready to be there. But, we’re going to stop somewhere again tonight because we’re thinking the roads are going to get even worse.”

And while Colleen Tatkus says there’s nothing like home for the holidays, “We want to be with our family. Work has kept us away from there for far too long.”

But, the only way to get to your destination safely is low and slow. Traveler Curtis Roth who lives in Center Township near Pittsburgh says, “The roads are slick, but you have got just to drive slower, and once you get where wind blows over the top of the road, that’s when it gets bad.”

If you must travel for the holidays make sure you have a full tank of gas, plenty of windshield washer fluid, and pull over in a safe place from time to time to take a break and dust off your headlights and taillights.