As of Tuesday morning, Fulton County was under a Level 1 snow emergency, partly in anticipation of additional snowfall mixed with high winds and bitter temperatures.
The National Weather Service’s Northern Indiana Weather Forecasting office at Syracuse, Ind., is calling for as much as five inches of snow by today, Wednesday, along with bitter cold temperatures and high winds.
Darrell Merillat, Fulton County sheriff, said he declared a Level 1 snow emergency at 3 pm, Friday, Jan. 9.
That was upgraded to a Level 2 at 2:42 pm, Saturday, Jan. 10, then dropped back to a Level 1 on Sunday, Jan. 11.
Merillat said Tuesday morning the county will remain under a Level 1, in anticipation of the coming storm.
An opinion of the Ohio Attorney General allows county sheriffs to declare snow emergencies and temporarily close county and township roads "for the preservation of the public peace."
There are three levels.
In a Level 1 snow emergency, motorists are advised that roadways are hazardous with the possibility of blowing and drifting snow. Roads are also icy. Motorists are urged to drive very cautiously.
A Level 2 snow emergency means that roads are considered hazardous, with blowing and drifting snow a possibility. Only necessary driving is allowed. Motorists should contact employers to see if they should report to work.
When a Level 3 snow emergency is declared, roads are closed to all non-emergency personnel. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be on the roads. Employees should contact employers about work.
Travelers are subject to arrest..
Merillat said he makes the decision on the snow emergency level.
He said he drives some county roads, then calls the Ohio Department of Transportation Fulton County garage, and others, to help make decisions.