As snow moves into the area this morning, the sheriff of each county has the discretion to issue a snow emergency if they feel motorists should take caution when driving, or stay home entirely.
As of 10 a.m. Wednesday, Delaware County reduced its snow emergency from a level 2 to level 1. Licking, Madison, Marion and Union also are under a level 1 snow emergency. Franklin County, which previously was under a level 1 emergency, ended that emergency shortly after 10 a.m.
Here's what each means, as defined by the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness:
What is a Level 1 snow emergency in Ohio?
Roads are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow. Roads may also be icy. Motorists are urged to drive very cautiously.
What is a Level 2 snow emergency in Ohio?
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.
What is a Level 3 snow emergency in Ohio?
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.
What happens with COTA buses in a snow emergency?
Fares are suspended when Franklin County is under a Level 2 or 3 snow emergency.
"COTA offers this community service to encourage those who must travel to take public transit instead of their personal vehicles; this will reduce traffic accidents in difficult driving conditions and assist the efforts of countywide snow removal and salting," COTA previously said in a release.
Do parking regulations change during a snow emergency?
In Columbus, cars parked on city streets must be moved if the mayor declares a snow emergency separate from one called by the county sheriff. Even when the mayor doesn't declare a snow emergency, go ahead and move that car so snow plows have enough room.
Dispatch reporter Nathaniel Shuda contributed to this report.
Monroe Trombly covers breaking and trending news.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: What are snow emergency levels in Ohio and what do they mean?