Local entities meet, prepare for the inevitable: winter storms

WILMINGTON — While winter storms are unpredictable, local officials want to make sure they are ready and residents are safe.

On Wednesday, officials from the county, city, and schools met at the Clinton County Engineer’s Office for their annual winter storm preparation meeting.

“The reason we’re meeting is to be prepared,” said County Engineer Jeff Linkous. “Also coordinating communications between cities, villages, the county, and the state is important. Being prepared and helping each other is very important.”

He indicated there is no way to predict what the winter months will look like.

“People ask what the standard is, and every snowstorm is different,” he said. “Every time you get something in the winter you can get an inch of snow and it’ll blow for three days. Or you can get six inches and then you’ll plow it off and go home.”

He advised they prepare the best they can and address conditions as they go along.

When it comes to whether or not a road is safe to travel on, Linkous referred to the weather advisory levels:

• Level 1 — roadways are hazardous and drivers must drive very cautiously.

• Level 2 — roadways are hazardous with blowing/drifting snow, and icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways. Officials advise calling your employer to see if you should report to work.

• Level 3 — all roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. “No one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roadways may subject themselves to arrest,” according to the Clinton County Sheriff’s website.

During the meeting, it was advised that if anyone was concerned about the level of safety for roads they should contact the Sheriff’s Office.

Linkous hopes locals keep themselves alert on the roads and pay attention to weather patterns.

“Be careful when that first snow hits, and pay attention,” he said.