Everything You Wanted To Know About Snow Emergency Classifications, But Were Afraid To Ask.


 Is there a Snow Emergency?

The snow emergency level for our county is reported by the same news organizations from which you’d learn about school delays and closures. You can also find the snow emergency level online at many places.

What is a Snow Emergency?

Local media might report something like: “Athens County is under a Level 2 Snow Emergency.” What does that mean for you?

The snow emergency level issued by county sheriffs in Ohio is meant to give citizens a sense of roadway conditions, and in some cases, to limit or restrict travel on roadways in the interest of safety. The authority to declare snow emergencies is placed on the county sheriff by Ohio law and, in order to clarify the definition, sheriffs of Ohio’s 88 counties adopted guidelines to be followed when closing highways due to severe weather.

Legal Background

A county sheriff may, pursuant to Ohio Revised Code sections 311.07 and 311.08, declare a snow emergency and temporarily close the state roads and municipal streets within his/her jurisdiction when such action is reasonably necessary for the preservation of the public peace. Ohio Attorney General Opinion 86-023 states that a Sheriff of a County may declare a snow emergency and temporarily close County and Township roads; Ohio Attorney General’s Opinion 97-015 (pdf), issued April 1, 1997, concluded that this authority includes state roads, county and township roads and municipal streets.

Any person who knowingly hampers or fails to obey a lawful order of the sheriff declaring a snow emergency and temporarily closing highways, roads and/or streets within his/her jurisdiction may be subject to criminal prosecution under Ohio Revised Code Section 2917.13, “Misconduct at an emergency” or other applicable law or ordinance.

Snow Emergency Classifications

LEVEL 1: Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. 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.

Drive Cautiously

Remember, it’s impossible to know the condition of every road in the county. These are only guidelines for the majority of roads. If, for example, a Level 1 Snow Emergency is in effect, there may be secondary roads that could be hazardous enough to be rated at level 2 or even possibly level 3.

If there is snow present, you should always assume that the road ahead is worse than the stretch of road you are currently on. In short, drive with extra regard for your speed and those around you especially on curves, hills, and the bridges which usually freeze well before the rest of the roadway. Also give yourself PLENTY of stopping distance especially on icy roads.


Winter Driving Safety Tips! ICE and SNOW, TAKE IT SLOW!


Slippery When Wet

First Snow or Ice – Drivers usually aren’t prepared for winter driving and forget to take it slow. Remember to drive well below the posted speed limit and leave plenty of room between vehicles.

Black Ice – Roads that seem dry may actually be slippery and dangerous. Take it slow when approaching intersections, off-ramps, bridges or shady areas. All are hot spots for black ice. Remember, Ice and Snow, Take It Slow.

Don’t Crowd The Plow

Watch out for Blind Spots – The plow driver’s field of vision is limited. If you can’t see the plow’s side mirrors, the driver can’t see you. Stay two to three car lengths behind the plow.

Ice and Snow, Take it Slow – Snowplows travel well below the posted speed limit. Be patient. Try not to pass the plow. Watch for sudden stops or turns.

Beware of Snow Clouds – Snowplows often create clouds as they clear the roads. These snow clouds can reduce your ability to see.

Distance – Give snowplows room to work. The plows are wide and can cross the centerline or shoulder. Don’t tailgate and try not to pass. If you must pass, take extreme caution and beware of the snow clouds.

Speed – Snowplows travel below the posted speed limit. Again, be patient.

Vision – A snowplow operator’s field of vision is restricted. You may see them, but they don’t always see you. Keep your distance and watch for sudden stops or turns.

Proceed With Caution!

Speed and Distance – The faster you’re going, the longer it will take to stop. When accelerating on snow or ice, take it slow to avoid slipping and sliding. Ice and Snow… Take It Slow.

Limited Visibility – Stay attentive and reduce speed. Know what’s going on around you.

Brake – Brake early, brake slowly, brake correctly, and never slam on the brakes. If you have anti-lock brakes, press the pedal down firmly and hold it. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes, gently pump the pedal. Either way, give yourself plenty of room to stop..

Control – When driving on ice and snow, do not use cruise control and avoid abrupt steering maneuvers. When merging into traffic, take it slow. Sudden movements can cause your vehicle to slide.

Vision – Be aware of what’s going on well ahead of you. Actions by other vehicles will alert you to problems more quickly, and give you that split-second of extra time to react safely.

Be Prepared!

Knowledge – Before leaving home, find out about the driving conditions by logging onto http://www.ohgo.com. Safe drivers know the weather and their limits. If the weather is bad, remember: Ice and Snow … Take It Slow – or just don’t go.

Clear – Remove any snow on your vehicle’s windows, lights, brake lights and signals. Make sure you can see and be seen.

Inspect – Check your tires, wiper blades, fluids, lights, belts and hoses regularly. A breakdown is bad on a good day, and dangerous on a bad-weather day.

Time – Leave in plenty of time to reach your destination safely. It’s not worth putting yourself and others in a dangerous situation just to be on time.

Nelsonville Kontner St CLOSED, Poling Ave to Short St, Tue, 11/14, 8:30AM, no parking Kotner St, avoid area

Nelso Road Closed

The Nelsonville Water Department will be closing Kontner Street from Poling Avenue to Short Street, Tuesday, November 14, 2017 at 8:30 AM. The street is being closed so that crews can repair a water main, and will be closed until repairs are complete.  Vehicles parked on Kontner Street must be removed by 8:00 AM or they will be subject to being towed.  Please use an alternate route.

Election Day 2017, Tue, 11/7, polls are open from 6:30 AM until 7:30 PM, So, get out and cast your vote!

your vote counts

ELECTION DAY is here! So, get out and cast your vote!

Polls will be open on Tuesday, November 7, 2017 from 6:30 AM until 7:30 PM. Voters can find their polling location, check their registration and view a sample ballot by going to MyOhioVote.com/VoterToolkit.

Voters planning to cast their ballot in-person on Election Day should remember to bring proper identification.

Ohio law requires that every voter, upon appearing at the polling place to vote on Election Day, must announce his or her full name and current address and provide proof of identity.

The forms of identification that may be used by a voter who appears at a polling place to vote on Election Day include

  • An unexpired Ohio driver’s license or state identification card with present or former address so long as the voter’s present residential address is printed in the official list of registered voters for that precinct;
  • A military identification;
  • A photo identification that was issued by the United States government or the State of Ohio, that contains the voter’s name and current address and that has an expiration date that has not passed;
  • An original or copy of a current utility bill with the voter’s name and present address;
  • An original or copy of a current bank statement with the voter’s name and present address;
  • An original or copy of a current government check with the voter’s name and present address;
  • An original or copy of a current paycheck with the voter’s name and present address; or
  • An original or copy of a current other government document (other than a notice of voter registration mailed by a board of elections) that shows the voter’s name and present address.

For utility bills, bank statements, government checks, paychecks, and other government documents, “current” is defined as within the last 12 months.   “Utility bill” includes a cell phone bill.    “Other government document” includes license renewal and other notices, fishing and marine equipment operator’s license, court papers, or grade reports or transcripts.  “Government office” includes any local (including county, city, township, school district and village), state or federal (United States) government office, branch, agency, commission, public college or university or public community college, whether or not in Ohio.

Flash Flood Warning for Western Athens Co until 10:15AM. Seek shelter if threatened avoid flooded roads!


The National Weather Service has issued a Flash Flood Warning for Western Athens County until 10:15 AM.

At 4:15 AM, Doppler radar and automated rain gauges indicated thunderstorms producing heavy rain across the warned area. 2 to 3.5 inches of rain have already fallen. Flash flooding is expected to begin shortly.

Some locations that will experience flooding include Nelsonville, Albany, Buchtel, Carbondale, New Marshfield, Shade and The Plains.

PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS; Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize the dangers of flooding.

Please report Severe Weather to the National Weather Service by calling toll free, 800 401 9535, when you can do so safely.

You may also report severe weather by posting your report to the Charleston West Virginia National Weather Service Facebook Page, or by using the Twitter Hashtag, NWSRLX.

Athens Co Outdoor Emergency Warning Siren TEST Nelsonville, The Plains, New Marshfield, 12noon Wed, 11/1/17

Siren Test

The outdoor emergency warning sirens in Nelsonville, The Plains and New Marshfield will be tested at 12 noon on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, with a one minute sounding of the sirens. Residents are asked not to call local emergency agencies inquiring why the sirens are sounding.

The outdoor warning siren system is normally tested on the first Wednesday of every month at 12:00 p.m. The monthly test will be cancelled if severe weather is threatening. If severe weather cancels the test it will be postponed until the next month. There are three conditions that result in the warning sirens being activated in Athens County.

  1. Severe Weather
    • When the National Weather Service initiates a Tornado Warning for an area that includes areas of Athens County.
    •  When the National Weather Service initiates a Severe Thunderstorm Warning (winds 58+ mph, large hail, severe lightening, and heavy rains), for an area that includes areas of Athens County.
  2. When there is an actual enemy or terrorist attack against the United States has been detected and is threatening areas of Athens County and protective action should be taken immediately.
  3. When a public safety emergency occurs, the sirens will be used to alert the public of emergencies such as hazardous materials incidents and civil disturbances.

When the outdoor warning sirens are sounded for an emergency they will be activated for five minutes. When you hear the warning sirens you should do the following;

  1. DO NOT CALL 9-1-1 to ask why the sirens are sounding as this can overload the 9-1-1 emergency response system.
  2. Remember, outdoor warning sirens are just that, out-door warning. The sirens are meant to be heard outside to signal you to go indoors and tune your radio or television station to the local Emergency Alert System (EAS) Station. As homes continue to become more energy efficient and sound proofing enhanced, outdoor warning sirens that once could be heard decades ago inside of a home can no longer be heard. That’s why other means of warning are in place.
  3. Go immediately to a safe area in your home or building, if high winds, severe thunder, and lightning are present.
  4. If you are outside away from possible shelter, lie flat on the ground away from trees until the storm passes. If in a vehicle, get out and find a more substantial structure.
  5. Carry a battery-operated radio or NOAA all hazard alert radio to your safe area. You will know when the storm or emergency has passed and when it is clear to leave your safe area.
  6. The Athens County SIRENS DO NOT identify specific types of storms or emergencies; therefore, you should immediately seek shelter and tune to local television or radio for further information.

Nelsonville Fall Clean-up, 11/14, 18, 21, 9AM to 4PM, free dumpsters for trash drop off located at City Hall

Nelso Fall Clean Up

The City of Nelsonville will be holding a Fall Clean-up on November 14, 18 and 21, 2017 from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM each day. The City will have free dumpsters for trash drop off located at City Hall, 211 Lake Hope Drive, inside the fencing.  The following rules will apply for the trash drop off;

  • Nelsonville City residents only, proof of residency required
  • No commercial trash
  • No tires
  • No batteries
  • No paint
  • No fuel tanks
  • No liquids
  • No hazardous materials
  • No fluorescent lights
  • No Freon or refrigerants
  • No electronics
  • No medical waste
  • Box springs, mattresses, carpet and upholstered furniture must be securely wrapped in plastic


If you cannot make it to City Hall, you can call the City Manager’s office at 740-753-1314 to schedule a pick-up at your residence.

Reminder, the City’s contract with Rumpke allows up to 20 garbage bags each week for residents at no additional charge. These are both great opportunities to get rid of any and all unwanted trash.