|Snow shuts down region|
|Written by ALEX ASPACHER and PETER KUEBECK, Sentinel Staff Writers|
|Monday, 06 January 2014 10:31|
“I’m out on the roads right now and we definitely are starting to have a lot of blowing and drifting,” said Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn this morning. MORE PHOTOS
According to the Sheriff’s Office website, under a Level 3 Snow Emergency, “all municipal, township, county, state and U.S. routes in the county are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be out during these conditions. Those traveling on the roadways may subject themselves to arrest. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work as only employees designated by their employer as essential may go to work and only if their route is passable.”
Wasylyshyn said that while winds died down around 4 a.m. this morning, they began to pick up again between 6:30 and 7 a.m.
After speaking with both Wood County Emergency Management Director Brad Gilbert and Gary Britten, superintendent of the Wood County Highway Garage, it was decided to go to a Level 3.
Wasylyshyn said that, as of about 7:44 a.m. there had been no crashes reported on county roads except for slide-off incidents.
“We’ve been very fortunate,” he said.
“Hunker down if you can,” he advised residents, saying those that must be out should have a vehicle equipped to go through snow and ice.
Britten noted that “the wind has really picked up and is kind of coming out of the southwest now. We’re running trucks tandem today in case we have any issues and trying to keep (the roads) open. I’m up here by the truck stops near (Interstate 280) and we’re just having a hard time keeping it into one lane.”
While the Bowling Green Post of the Ohio Highway Patrol was not handling any incidents on the road as of 8 a.m. this morning, a dispatcher noted that “everything is pretty much snow and ice covered, and the winds are getting bad.”
“When the wind dies down, we’ll go back to a Level 2,” said Wasylyshyn. “We’ll be re-evaluating the situation as the day goes on.”
As many as 20 customers were reported to be without power just off of U.S. 6, just east of Wayne Road as of 9 a.m. The Ohio Edison website indicated that power was expected to be restored by 11 a.m. The cause of the outage was under investigation.
The conditions shuttered offices across Wood County, including those of townships, municipalities and the county itself.
All county departments are closed with the exception of 24-hour facilities such as the jail, sheriff’s office and Wood Haven Health Care. Even if the emergency level is lessened later today, offices will remain closed until Tuesday, according to Andrew Kalmar, county administrator.
“Our policy is we close if a Level 3 is declared.”
Perrysburg Township was experiencing increased winds this morning that exacerbated already-poor conditions.
“Visibility is terrible. We’re having a tough time keeping these roads open,” said Kraig Gottfried, supervisor of the township maintenance department.
Crews were working in two-man teams so as to have more impact on keeping roadways clear, and also for their own safety, said Gottfried, who did not expect conditions to improve until winds died down.
Roads were worse to the southern and eastern parts of the township, where there’s less development and the snow drifts more. While drivers in trucks plowed the streets, Gottfried used a front-end loader to push drifts out of the way as much as possible.
“We won’t get ahead of it until the wind breaks more.”
The city of Perrysburg reported similar problems. As workers fought to keep main roads passable for those who did need to travel, neighborhood streets didn’t get much attention, according to Jon Eckel, director of public service.
With the Level 3 keeping most people indoors, Eckel advised residents to stay indoors and ride out the storm.
“With these temperatures and this wind, which is really going to blow until almost 3 a.m Wednesday, it’ll be tough to get ahead of it,” Eckel said of snow-removal efforts.
“If people stay home and take it easy, I’m sure we’ll get caught up.”
Village offices were closed today in North Baltimore due to the weather.
Police Chief Allan Baer noted that road crews were out but “the problem is the wind, obviously. It’s a white-out outside our jurisdiction, and the west side of town is pretty bad because of drifting. We are able to get around on the interior streets due to out snow removal guys. Right now everyone’s just hunkered down.”
He noted that the police have responded to the occasional car issue today.
Additionally, he said that Ohio 18, west of the CSX intermodal was “in pretty bad shape” earlier in the day.
|Last Updated on Monday, 06 January 2014 10:48|
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