Level Two Snow Emergency declared

Wanda English Burnett- Editor

Just as weather forecasters predicted, heavy snow fell on Tuesday, February 6 in the tri-state area including Ripley County. The snow came fast and furious leaving motorists to combat treacherous roads in a short period of time.

The snow began falling in most areas shortly after noon and continued until about 9:00 p.m. leaving behind anywhere from three to seven inches. Another factor that caused road crews concern was the low temperatures.

Highway Superintendent Owen Heaton Jr. noted that his crews were ready and on Tuesday morning all of the county road trucks were housed inside and ready to roll when the snow began to fall. “Everything has been gone through and we’re ready,” he told The Versailles Republican. Only a short time later, the snow began to fall and the county trucks would roll. They were back out on Wednesday morning by 4:00 a.m.

Heaton said that before this snowfall, the county highway had only used about 150 ton of salt due to the mild weather this winter. “We have plenty of salt and cinders,” he noted.
At 5:20 p.m. on Tuesday, the announcement went out that Ripley County was under a Level Two Snow Emergency. The order from the Ripley County Commissioners essentially closed all the roads in the county with the exception of emergency travel. That order was still in effect on Wednesday morning and the Ripley County Courthouse and Annex were closed for the day.

Emergency personnel consists of members of law enforcement, fire departments, emergency medical service providers, search and rescue organizations, rescue squads, military organizations, disaster relief organizations, emergency management and required mutual aid personnel.

Critical occupations personnel are also included in those who can be out when there is a Level Two emergency declared. This includes employees of utility companies, highway departments, towing and wrecker services, fuel delivery suppliers, news media and hospital and healthcare organizations.

All schools were closed in Ripley County on Wednesday, along with many club and organization meetings. Some schools began bussing children home at noon on Tuesday to ensure their safety. By 4:00 p.m. the visibility was very low with many roads - including US 50, completely snow covered, making travel hazardous.

The snow emergency was lifted before noon on Wednesday.

Even roads like US 50, pictured above, were treacherous on Tuesday afternoon after the snow began falling at a rapid pace. Visibility was low as motorists crept along. The Ripley County Commissioners declared a Level Two Snow Emergency about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday, February 6, essentially declaring roads in the county closed except to emergency and critical occupations personnel.





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