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SNOW EMERGENCIES: Guide to Central Ohio Alerts
COLUMBUS -- Snow Emergency Classifications span three levels, with Level 3 being the most severe. The levels are announced by a county sheriff, who could temporarily close the state roads and municipal streets within that jurisdiction.
As described by the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness, Level 1 emergency means roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. The roads may also be icy and motorists are urged to drive cautiously.
Under a Level 2 emergency, people should only drive if it is necessary. Employees should ask their employer if it is necessary to report to work, and those who do drive are advised to use extreme caution.
During a Level 3 emergency, driving is forbidden for any non-emergency personnel. Exceptions may be made for those responding to a personal emergency, but people driving under these conditions may subject themselves to arrest.
Anyone who knowingly hampers or fails to comply with the snow emergency could face criminal prosecution. Such violations would likely be a fourth-degree misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a fine of up to $250, or both.
Misconduct that creates a risk of physical harm is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $1,000, or both.
More information about snow emergency classifications is available here: http://1.usa.gov/1gdarKB
Counties currently on alert include:
LEVEL 1 - Vinton Co., Putnam Co.
Keep checking back for updates.