LIMA — Lima-area police agencies declared snow level emergencies in the midst of a snow storm with high winds expected to last much of the day.
Allen County Sheriff Matt Treglia announced the Level 2 roadway advisory as of 1:39 p.m. today. A Level 1 roadway advisory was previously issued at 10:14 a.m. A Level 2 advisory means that all county roads are considered “extremely dangerous due to heavy, drifted or blowing snow” and that some roads may be rendered impassable. A release issued by the sheriff’s office Saturday evening said that the advisory would remain in effect until at least 9 a.m. Sunday as crews continue to work to clear the roadways.
Auglaize County Sheriff Al Solomon doesn’t issue level warnings, but his office warned at 11:15 a.m. roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow that could become slippery in spots.
Putnam County Sheriff Brian Siefker issued a Level 2 snow emergency at 3:27 p.m., according to a Twitter post from the Putnam County EMS/EMA.
Hardin County Sheriff Keith Everhart also issued a Level 1 snow emergency as of 11:03 a.m. and urged caution.
Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey issued a Level 1 snow emergency starting at 11:15 a.m. today for unincorporated areas of the county, including state routes, county roads and township roads. It means roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Drivers should use extreme caution.
Hancock County Sheriff Michael Heldman issued a Level 2 weather advisory at 1:30 p.m. after previously issuing a Level 1 weather alert for all of his county starting at 10:30 a.m.
The Lima Police Department canceled its skate with a cop event and warned people about dangerous driving conditions. The Bluffton Police Department asked residents to park in their driveways and off streets to help trucks with snow removal.
The region is under a winter storm warning under 4 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. Moderate to heavy snow is expected, with accumulations of 5 to 8 inches possible. There will also be gusty winds from the northeast, with gusts as high as 35 to 45 mph later this afternoon into tonight. There’s also a chance of freezing rain in the afternoon, creating dangerous sheets of ice on roadways.
Most schools called off their basketball games for today, including the anticipated matchup of Lima Senior and Ottawa-Glandorf, which was rescheduled to Feb. 12.
The Ohio Department of Aging reminded people to check in with older loved ones and neighbors before, during and after a storm. They suggest asking the elderly if they need medical attention, if they have safe food and water, if their homes are comfortable temperatures and who they’ll call if they need help.