Residents Dig Out From Storm

ST. MARYS — A weather system that dumped more than 7 inches of snow on the region snarled morning traffic, closed local schools and forced residents to dig out of what could be the season’s last storm.

Auglaize County EMA Director Troy Anderson said he measured between 7 and 8 inches of snow throughout Auglaize County. Drifts, he noted, are topping 3 feet.

“If you have to go out today, be extremely careful while driving,” Anderson told The Evening Leader this morning. “I am out now and a lot of the roads have not been plowed yet — they have been focusing on the main routes. I was just on 364 and it was down to one lane, if that.”

Law enforcement throughout the region have handled calls regarding vehicles sliding off roads. The Auglaize County Council on Aging closed its doors today and Mercer County was under a Level II snow emergency at one point during the storm. Mercer County Sheriff Jeff Grey eventually downgraded it to a Level I as of press time.

Rain and sleet moved into the region ahead of the snow. Anderson said that helped keep snowfall totals on the lower end of estimates.

“When we started to transition to snow, at about 8 p.m., that heavy, wet snow just stuck to the roads and it piled on,” Anderson said. “The rain was nice because it stayed a little later and it meant less snow. After the transition at 8 p.m. and until 2 a.m., we still got about 7 to 8 inches. If it snowed all day and into the evening, we would have had significantly more snow.”

With the snow moving out, local residents could be faced with another issue in the coming days. Temperatures are expected to flirt with the 60-degree mark by Sunday, posing the risk for localized flooding as the snow melts.

“That’s something we are looking into,” Anderson said of the threat of flooding. “I have not done a moisture check out of this snow yet. I’ll be doing that today. We’ll be looking at that core sample and melting it to see what we have.”

For residents who live near areas that tend to flood during heavy periods of precipitation, Anderson offered a bit of advice.

“If they are next to a creek, see what the level is, go out and look at the banks,” Anderson said. “Take a picture of the creeks, that’s what I am doing now. That way, you will have a reference to see how much it has risen, where it was at and where it could be going. You also could put out a marking stick next to it so you have an idea of how fast it is climbing and how much time you have for protection.”