Sunshine State sees snowfall; Warren man hurt in crash

Tom Virgili surveys the damage from broken limbs of pine trees after a heavy snow fall, Saturday in Kennesaw, Ga. The frigid temperatures behind a cold front combined with moisture off the Gulf of Mexico to bring wintry weather to parts of the South. AP

The “Welcome to Florida” sign in the northwest part of the state was covered in light snow as winter weather dipped into the Sunshine State.

Snowfall in northeast Ohio has been confined to the snow belt north and west of Trumbull County so far, but dropping temperatures the last few nights have made driving treacherous for area motorists.

Early Sunday morning, the Ohio State Highway Patrol in Southington investigated a one-car rollover crash in Howland, just southeast of the Warren city limits, in which one man was sent to the hospital.

According to a patrol news release, Dorian S. Williamson, Jr., 21, of Warren, was driving southbound on Niles Warren River Road, south of Burton Street SE, shortly after midnight when his car slid off the east side of the road and hit a guardrail end.

Williamson was taken to Trumbull Regional Medical Center with serious injuries and later transferred to St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, where he remains in stable condition, the release states.

Howland police and Howland and Warren firefghters assisted getting Williamson out of the vehicle, the report states. Police were investigating if drugs may have played a factor in the crash, the report states.

Meanwhile, a winter storm hit the Deep South over the weekend and left thousands of people without power in the region.

In Florida, the news website posted a photograph of the sign that welcomes travelers to the state, covered in a sprinkle of snow.

Elsewhere in the normally warm state, flurries were reported in Destin and Miramar Beach, while temperatures in St. Petersburg were 48 degrees. Miami was a positively chilly 61 degrees Sunday afternoon.

“It does look like it’s going to get a little colder tonight,” said Marc Austin, a forecaster from the National Weather Service in Ruskin, which is in the Tampa Bay area. “Tonight will be the coldest night in Florida this week. Probably the coldest night it’s been since last winter.”

Austin added that the region’s cold temps are due to an arctic air mass followed brought a high pressure system. Wind died down and that allowed for the normally mild south to cool.

Areas north of Tampa were expecting freezing temperatures Sunday night, even down in the twenties, he said.

Over the weekend, North Carolina had ice warnings, Georgia saw school and business closings and Friday, Jackson, Mississippi had its highest snowfall since 1982.

Part of Asheville received eight inches of snow Friday and Saturday, making the storm the 15th greatest since 1946, when the Weather Service started keeping records of snowfall in the city.

Locally, the forecast for northeast Ohio calls for a continued chance of snow showers through Thursday.

Duke Energy is reporting almost 8,000 customers without power Sunday afternoon in the western counties of North Carolina and South Carolina. The majority of those are in Macon, Henderson and Buncombe counties in North Carolina. In South Carolina, the highest number of outages is in Greenville, where 660 customers are without power. The power was expected to be restored by late Sunday.