morrowcountysentinel.com

Bracing for winter’s biggest storm

By Jim Krumel jkrumel@civitasmedia.com

February 28, 2014

LIMA — Not again.


Just when people began to think there was an end in sight to one of the harshest winters ever, Mother Nature started preparing to throw another snowball this way.


Expected to hit tonight, the new storm could be the biggest system of the winter. Fittingly, it wears the name “Titan.”


“Late Saturday into Sunday and then Monday, there will be heavy snow, around 8 to 10 inches and possibly more,” said Nick Greenawalt, a meteorologist for the National Weather service.


Titan has been on journey across the United States all week. The storm system began in California and has cut its way to the Midwest. It is expected to hit the East Coast as early as Sunday.


Forecasters for the Weather Channel say Titan will likely sprinkle some freezing rain along with snow as it hovers over Lima. Should the region find itself digging out from 10 inches of snow, it would close in on a new record for yearly snowfall.


“In the 1977-‘78 blizzard year, we ended February with 69.5 inches of snow, with another 1.9 inches coming in March and April. We’re currently at 59.8 inches, so the record is attainable, although I’m not advocating that,” said Guy Verhoff, a weather service observer from Pandora.


This winter has already become a benchmark for the Ohio Insurance Institute. Nearly 15,000 insurance claims have been filed so far, with about three-quarters from homeowners. The Columbus Dispatch reported that homeowners accumulated $97.8 million to $124.4 million in bills, most coming from broken and frozen water pipes, ice buildup and wind damage during the bitter, below-zero cold of Jan. 5-8. Wind chills as low as 49 below hit the state during that period along with ice, heavy snow and high winds.


Ohio has not experienced such winter storm damage since December 2004, when insured losses totaled $105 million in today’s prices. A blizzard in March 1993 caused insured losses of $193.5 million, according to The Associated Press.