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Level 1 snow emergency, snow plows out on roadways

Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless has issued a Level 1 snow emergency. That means roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Drive carefully.

The Ohio Department of Transportation has snow plows out which are working this morning to clear the state highway system.

Crews were called out during the overnight to begin plowing and treating roadways, and currently, accumulations vary from less than an inch to upwards of two inches. Although overall snow totals are light, single-digit air and pavement temperatures make clearing routes challenging as snow-fighting materials do not react in extreme cold. As such, roads are likely to be mostly to partly snow covered during the morning commute.

As always, motorists are reminded of the need for additional caution and to be prepared by allowing additional travel time and maintaining a safe following distance when traveling behind other motorists. And those who must be out today should also take additional precautions to protect themselves from the extreme cold and have their vehicles well-prepared.

On the Kentucky side of the river, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet sent snow plows out at 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday to clear roadways which were covered with about a half inch of snow, much of which is blowing off with traffic. Crews are plowing as necessary. Air temperatures range from 12 to 20 degrees. Road temps are averaging 21 degrees.

With continued blowing snow and arctic weather — temperatures are expected to fall into the single digits by tonight — slick road conditions are likely and motorists should be cautious if traveling today:

• Slow down, use extra caution, and buckle up

• Leave a “space cushion” between vehicles for safer maneuverability

• Remember that bridges and overpasses can freeze before roadways

• Be mindful that a clear highway might suddenly turn snowy and slick around the next curve or in dips and valleys

Once on duty, state highway crews work 12-hour shifts plowing and treating roadways on a priority-route basis until the winter weather threat subsides.