Winter Weather UpdatePublished 11:18am Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office has reduced the snow emergency to a Level 1 as of 2:15 p.m. today.
The snow that hit the Tri-State at 5 a.m. has basically ended and road crews have gotten to clear most of the major roadways. Level 1 means that there are secondary roads that are still snow or ice-covered
At 9:30 a.m. today Sheriff Jess Lawless had issued a Level 2 alert after conferring with County Engineer Doug Cade and EMA Director Mike Boster.
A Level 2 snow emergency means the roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads.
“Right now we are trying to monitor the roadways to see if anyone is broken down and following any crazy drivers out there trying to get them to slow down,” Lawless said at that time.
As of 11 a.m. there were at least four accidents law enforcement was responding to including one in Coal Grove and a second on County Road 412 in Proctorville.
“The highway patrol reported they had three and had several pending,” Lawless said.
None of the accidents reportedly had serious injuries.
County road crews started at 6 a.m. salting and sanding the 10 routes for which the county engineer’s office is responsible.
“We will be out there until late tonight,” Cade said.
Officials evaluated the roads later today to determine if the emergency level should be upgraded.
“Normally we wouldn’t go to a Level 3,” Cade said.
Instead it was reduced.
The engineer and highway superintendent follow behind the road crews to determine if the mix of salt and sand is working.
“Once it gets below 20 degrees salt will not work,” he said. “There is not a lot we can do, except clear off the road.”
Clearing roadways, however, can leave a layer of ice salt will not affect.
City of Ironton street department crews were also out early this morning when the first snow hit.
“We were prepared for it, salting roads to take care of them, scraping and salting and getting the main throughways and overpasses,” Ironton Mayor Rich Blankenship said. “We have big salt trucks and a smaller salt truck. We try our best to keep the main throughways open like Park, Fifth, Sixth. We can’t get all the side streets and we get the Second Street overpass. That is really slick.”
Blankenship and Lawless ask drivers to use extra caution if they have to get out.
“We are out there but Mother Nature is overruling,” Blankenship said at noon today.