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Snow blankets region; County on level 1 advisory

Heavy snowfall continued to blanket Lawrence County and the Tri-State Thursday night, causing slow travel, slick roads and forcing school cancellations for Friday.

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless issued a Level 1 Snow Emergency advisory at 4:45 p.m.

“With the current snow, the snow already on the ground and the temperatures of the air and ground, the driving situations will continue to worsen throughout the night,” Lawless said. “I do this to urge everyone to use caution if they are out on the roadways.”

A Level One Snow Emergency means that roads (township and county, mainly secondary) are hazardous with the possibility of blowing and drifting snow. Roads are icy and drivers should use caution, if they choose to drive.

A Level Two Snow Emergency means that roads are hazardous (including primary roads) with blowing and drifting snow a possibility. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be on these roadways. Employees should contact their employers to see if they should report to work.

A Level Three Snow Emergency means that roads are closed to all non-essential personnel. No one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on any roadway in the county may subject themselves to citation or arrest.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory through Friday at 6 p.m. Forecasts are calling for as much as six inches of additional snowfall overnight.

All Lawrence County primary and secondary schools have announced they will be closed Friday.

Meanwhile, the Ohio Department of Transportation continues to plow and salt state roads.

Several Tri-State businesses began closing early or sending staff home.

A piano recital at Ohio University Southern has been cancelled.

Area law enforcement agencies were responding to several accidents where motorists have slid off the road.

ODOT is reminding drivers of the best advice for driving in winter weather: in “Ice and Snow: Take it Slow” – slower speeds, slower acceleration, slower steering and slower braking.

“Throughout this storm, our drivers will be doing their best to clear the roads so they are safe and passable; however, motorists must remember to give the crews room to work and to share the road responsibly with others,” said ODOT District 9 Deputy Director James Brushart.

Currently, routes throughout District 9 are snow covered, and the crews’ efforts will continue through today and tomorrow as more precipitation and gusting winds are anticipated during the next 24 hours. However, motorists are reminded to practice safe driving winter skills, to proceed with caution and to heed the following:

Speed & Distance – The faster you’re going, the longer it will take you to stop; excessive speed continues to be one of the leading factors for crashes in ice and snow.

Brake – Brake early, brake slowly and brake correctly; never slam on your brakes.

Vision – Be aware of what’s going on well ahead of you; actions by other drivers will alert you to problems more quickly.

Motorists are also advised to be especially cautious when traveling over bridges and overpasses, which are likely to freeze more quickly than the roadway. It also important to note that visibility can be reduced significantly during inclement weather, and travel conditions can change from mile to mile and minute to minute.

Being a careful and informed driver is the best way for motorists to travel safely. Driver safety tips can be found online at www.dot.state.oh.us by clicking on the “Ice and Snow” logo, and motorists can also learn about crew activity and travel information before leaving home or work by logging on to www.buckeyetraffic.org.