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Church open as warming station

As of 12:30 p.m. AEP Ohio reports more than 2,800 people are still without power in Lawrence County.

First Baptist Church in Ironton, located at 304 S. Fifth St., has opened up their fitness center as a warming station.

Meanwhile, the county still remains on a Level 2 snow emergency.

Sheriff Jeff Lawless said via Facebook that Level 3 is reserved to maintain public peace.

“I should not have to threaten people with arrest for them to know that the roads are snow covered and dangerous,” Lawless wrote. “When you close roads you hurt commerce and put the public safety in jeopardy. Society must continue to function through a snowstorm. I understand that some people do not want to go to work because they do not want to drive in these conditions, that is why it is important to contact your employer and see if it is necessary to report. I will continue to monitor conditions.”

AEP reported heavy snow accumulation on power lines and trees has resulted in downed power lines and other issues at company facilities. Hazardous road conditions and flooding in the areas are hampering crews’ ability to access certain areas to assess damage.