Local roads under Level 2

BELMONT and Jefferson counties were under a Snow Emergency Level 2 Monday night and early today as crews battled icy and snow-covered roadways.

The sheriff’s offices in the two counties issued the road emergency level which states that “roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow and only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work.”

Bob Detling, road supervisor with the Belmont County Engineer’s Department, early this morning said county roads were not in the best shape. “We are hoping that as the daylight hours approach and if it gets a little warmer, conditions will improve,” he said.

Although flurries were expected today, tonight’s forecast called for partly cloudy skies with sunshine and clouds predicted for Wednesday.

Belmont County road crews were out in full force Monday as of 6 p.m. and remained on the roads until midnight. A skeleton crew worked until 3:30 a.m. and a full crew was back on the roads as of 4:30 p.m. Detling said there 15 trucks on the roads spreading salt and plowing.

“Due to ice being on the roads, we urge drivers to be extra cautious,” he said. “No one should be speeding under these kind of conditions.”

Tom Johnson, transportation manager at the Ohio Department of Transportation garage, Morristown, said crews were out since 6:30 p.m on Monday and remained on the job all night long. “We are out on the roads again this morning with 18 trucks spreading salt and doing a lot of plowing.”

Johnson urged motorists to be extra cautious and to drive slow,

Darren Hendershot, transportation manager at the Ohio Department of Transportation garage, Monroe County, said roads were in fairly good condition. “I don’t think our area got hit as hard as some of our neighboring areas,” he said. Hendershot said eight trucks are on the roads doing some plowing and spreading salt.

The middles of the roads in Harrison County were clear and wet this morning, and crews were out working on the edges, according to Chris Wood, manager of the ODOT garage in that county.

All roads are open and passable, Wood added.

ODOT road crews in Harrison County began working Monday at 5 p.m. when it was raining and freezing, and they were treating the roads so it wouldn’t bond to the pavements.

Roads in Jefferson County this morning were “at best, in fair condition,” according to Scott Jenkins, transportation manager for ODOT in that county.

Crews in Jefferson County began working on the roads Monday around 4 p.m. Noting the county is under a Level 2, Jenkins advised motorists to slow down and take their time.

A dispatcher at the Ohio Highway Patrol, St. Clairsville, said there were several accidents but none with injuries. She said some of the accidents were the result of vehicles sliding into ditches and others going off the roads.

St. Clairsville police said no major accidents happened in the city. A dispatcher at the police station said there were several vehicles which slid off the roads, but there were no injuries.