WAPAKONETA — Auglaize County Sheriff Michael Vorhees announced this week that the county had put in place a three-tier standardized winter road condition advisory levels.
“These new condition levels bring Auglaize County in line with other Ohio counties in reporting road conditions,” Vorhees said. “It helps people coming in or out of the county to understand traffic conditions here.”
Since taking on the role of sheriff Jan. 1, Vorhees said he has been evaluating all procedures before considering any changes, including official road advisories. However, the impending storm this week caused him to update the road advisories method as the first alternation to department procedures.
“Since it is January in Ohio,” he said, “we came up with the decision pretty quick” to go to a three tier advisory system. “To advise the public of what level we are on, we are expecting to have a button on the sheriff’s website.”
Residents are asked to look at the website, determine conditions in their specific area and follow local media outlets. Residents should not call the sheriff’s department for advice on conditions.
The levels take into account specific conditions.
Level 1 means roadways are hazardous due to accumulated snow or ice and may become slippery in spots.
Level 2 means roadways are hazardous due to blowing and drifting snow and/or ice cover. This means that only those who believe it is necessary to drive should be on the roadways. The sheriff suggests people contact their employer to determine if they should report to work.
Level 3 means roadways are closed to all non-emergency travel due to extremely hazardous conditions. No one should be on the roadway unless it is absolutely essential to travel. Those operating vehicles on the roadway for non-emergency reasons may be subject to arrest.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.