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What do the different snow emergencies mean?

Posted at 8:41 PM, Feb 14, 2021

Ahead of heavy snow forecast for Sunday night through Monday, several counties and cities in the Greater Cincinnati region have already issued snow emergencies. But what do those levels mean?

The emergencies are a warning system to alert drivers and residents that bad weather could make it unsafe to travel. A level one snow emergency usually means parked cars must be moved off of public streets to allow plows to clear and treat the roads. Many cities will ticket or tow parked cars that aren't moved from public roads.

A level two snow emergency means people should stay home if they can and drive only if absolutely necessary.

Level three means all roads in that area are closed to non-emergency personnel. Drivers out for non-emergency reasons could be arrested or cited.

Cities typically issue snow emergencies themselves in addition to counties, based on the specific needs of the neighborhoods in those areas.

"We're highly encouraging folks, if you can, to just stay home," said Nancy Wood, spokesperson for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 6. KYTC does not issue snow emergencies, but its crews are responsible for clearing nearly 2,000 miles of road in Boone, Kenton and Campbell counties.

"Take advantage of the holiday if you can, or working from home," she said. "The least amount of traffic out there on our roadways, our crews can better plow and treat our roadways."

Drivers who must venture out should be prepared in the event they're stranded. KYTC recommends letting someone know where you are going and to always bring blankets, food, water and other supplies you may need in case you're stuck or stranded.