The winter storm that rolled into Delaware County late Wednesday evening led to numerous closures Thursday, while law enforcement issued warnings urging residents to stay off the roadways.
The freezing rain, sleet, and snow that fell on the county Wednesday and Thursday led to all county schools canceling classes for the rest of the week. Numerous other closures were announced via social media Thursday, including the closure of the Ohio Wesleyan University campus, all Delaware County District Library locations, Delaware Public Health District offices, and countless small businesses across the county. Many local meetings were also postponed Thursday.
As for the roadways, at 6:14 a.m. on Thursday, Delaware County Sheriff Russell Martin issued a level 2 snow emergency for the county. At 6 p.m., he moved the county to a level 3.
“All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel,” the DCSO posted Thursday evening on Facebook. “No one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel. Employees should contact their employers to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roadways may be subject to arrest.”
As of press time, the county was still on a level 3 snow emergency.
As a reminder, the Delaware County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management gives the following guidance concerning snow emergency levels:
• Level 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Motorists are urged to drive very cautiously.
• Level 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be very icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work. Motorists should use extreme caution.
• Level 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.
Following a morning briefing on Thursday, the City of Delaware reported its plow drivers reported freezing rain at 11:15 p.m. Wednesday and sleet around 4:30 a.m. Thursday.
A post on the city’s Facebook page notes priority 1 streets were treated five times overnight on Wednesday, while priority 2 streets were treated three times.
“Day shift will focus on 1’s and 2’s to keep them clear,” the city posted Thursday morning, adding 11 plow truck drivers were on duty at the time.
The city reported that 24-hour coverage will continue until all roads are clear.
“Thank you to the local American Red Cross chapter for loaning our snow team sleeping cots in case drivers need to stay at our Public Works facility at the end of a shift,” the city posted on Facebook. “We don’t know if we’ll need them over the next few days but good to have, just in case!”
Wind gusts were also an issue for some spots in Delaware County on Thursday.
“High winds can occur during a severe thunderstorm or with a strong weather system,” the Delaware County EMA posted on social media Thursday. “High winds can knock down trees and power lines, and can make driving high profile vehicles difficult. Watch for flying debris, downed power lines, and tree branches.”
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