Fun in the snow, part deux

For the second day in a row the University canceled all classes yesterday, leaving students with more time to catch up on studying, sleep and recreation outside while city and campus maintenance crews worked non-stop to clear snow.

The Level 3 snow emergency was lifted around 9 a.m. yesterday to Level 2, which remained in effect at press time. Roadways are still hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Only drivers who find it necessary to be on the roads should be out.

According to Deputy Juliann Flage at the Wood County Sheriff’s Office, the last Level 3 snow emergency was declared about two years ago. If wind and frigid temperatures were to persist it could be reissued.

The National Weather Service lifted both winter storm and blizzard warnings to a blowing snow advisory for Wood County, in effect until 9 p.m. While no final totals for snowfall had been recorded for Wood County, a total of 14.8 inches was recorded by the National Weather Service for Lucas County.

Today’s forecast calls for a 30 percent chance of snow showers and a high around 14 degrees. West winds amounting to 10 or 15 mph will create wind chill values as low as 10 below.

Twenty public works employees and three supervisors are working 12-hour shifts to clear city roads, parking lots and sidewalks of snow, according to Bill Blair, public works director. Crews will continue to work through Friday at midnight.

After streets are cleared, snow will be picked up and transported to the Wood County Fair grounds, Blair said, where it may take until May for it to melt.

“Our priority when we started was to keep the main thoroughfares open, Wooster and Main Streets leading to the hospital,” Blair said. “The main passes are to get the roads open for vehicular traffic, we then go ‘pushing back’ so the post office can deliver.”

According to Blair, the worst drifting happened in the southwest part of town.

“The main problem last night was the wind blowing which really piled up high on the streets,” Blair said. “Now we’re just digging out.”

Blair warned that if residents do not clear their sidewalks within 24 hours of the storm ending, they could risk a civil infraction citation and a fine of $40 to $50. In addition, cars parked on streets that are not moved risk being towed or plowed in with snow.

Any attempts by residents to remove vehicles parked on streets, even non-designated snow streets, would be appreciated, according to Lori Tretter, city public information officer. In addition, city recycling services have been suspended until Friday.

University Director of Media Relations Teri Sharp said yesterday afternoon that classes and all normal University operations would resume this morning.

For continual updates from the University, call the BGSU Emergency Phone Line at 372-SNOW, Fact Line at 372-2445 or check the BGSU home page.