Created on Thursday, 27 December 2012 Written by NATE SMITH
Local crews successfully manage up to foot of snowfall
ABOVE: John Aler shovels snow Thursday in front of AlerStallings Law Firm, 113 W. Chillicothe Ave., a business founded by his son, Greg. (EXAMINER PHOTO | JOEL E. MAST) FRONT PAGE PHOTO: Bellefontaine city employee John Case moves a mound of snow from a parking lot at the intersection of Detroit Street and Columbus Avenue after snowfall ebbed considerably Wednesday evening. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)
The worst of a Wednesday blizzard that dumped more than eight inches of snow on some parts of the area has drifted well to the north and east and crews are optimistic roads will be cleared by the end of today.
Heavy snow and high winds subsided about 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, circumstances that allowed county plow crews to keep primary county roads open overnight.
“The roads were snow-covered, but none of the primary county roads in and around Bellefontaine were drifted closed,” said Todd Bumgardner, general superintendent with the Logan County Engineer’s Office.
Mr. Bumgardner said the first priority for county crews this morning was to attempt to clear off all “secondary county roads.”
“There are some reports of some pretty good drifts on those roads, but we’re starting to hit those now,” he said.
National Weather Service monitor Wayne Wickerham recorded 61⁄2 inches of snow in Huntsville.
Snowfall amounts were higher in the city. Bellefontaine recorded 9 inches of snowfall, Mr. Wickerham said, adding that it’s difficult to grab an accurate snowfall measurement because of the drifting and blowing caused by gusty winds. Other news agencies have reported up to 12 inches of snow in the area, which was among the highest in the state.
Mr. Wickerham said he tallied a total of 0.3 inches of total precipitation. By comparison, the Bellefontaine Wasterwater Treatment Plant weather observation station reported a total of 1.58 inches of precipitation.
Logan County Sheriff Andrew J. Smith downgraded to a Level 1 snow emergency at 8:30 a.m. today. Level 1 emergencies indicate motorist should exercise caution when traveling.
Sheriff Smith declared a Level 2 snow emergency at 11 a.m. Wednesday after putting the county on a Level 1 emergency at 8 a.m., just as most county offices announced they were closing early for the day.
Logan County’s commissioners, auditor’s, recorder’s and treasurer’s offices, common pleas and family courts and clerk of courts all closed when the snow emergency was increased to Level 2.
Bellefontaine city offices were also closed by noon.
School districts canceled all sports practices and many businesses closed early or did not open at all.
Logan County Health District wasn’t scheduled to open until 10 a.m. today. Similarly, city government operated on a two-hour delay this morning.
Area law enforcement reported numerous vehicles sliding off roads and streets and a few stranded motorists, but no serious crashes resulted locally from the snowstorm.
“In this situation, we had time to plan and get ahead of the storm, which helped things to go much better,” Sheriff Smith said.