According to an opinion by the Ohio Attorney General, the Sheriff of a county may declare an emergency and temporarily close county and township roads. This is usually done after conferring with the County Engineer and the local Emergency Management Agency when weather or other conditions have reached emergency proportions. Township trustees and the Ohio Department of Transportation may also be consulted.
There are three levels of snow emergency classifications:
LEVEL 1: Roadways are hazardous. Motorists are urged to drive very cautiously.
LEVEL 2: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be very icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roads. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work. Motorists should use extreme caution.
LEVEL 3: All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest.
The media is immediately notified by the Sheriff whenever an emergency is declared. Motorists are encouraged to monitor the Butler County Sheriff’s web site or local media outlets for initial notifications plus any changes in the designated level of the emergency.
Remember, it is impossible to know the condition of every road in the County. These are only guidelines for the majority of roads in an extreme weather situation. For example, if the advisory level is set at 1, there may be secondary roads that have deteriorated to a level 2 or even a level 3 condition. If snow is present, a good rule of thumb is to always presume that the road ahead is worse than the stretch of road you are currently on.
Drive safely and use caution in all weather or disaster situations.