Roads are still hazardous

COLUMBIA CITY — The snow emergency in Whitley County was upgraded to a level two at 8 a.m. this morning as residents continue to dig out from this week’s piling on of snow.“Whitley County has upgraded to a level 2 snow emergency this morning,” said the Whitley County Board of Commissioners in a statement today.“The public needs to be aware that roadways are slick, snow covered and that some have not been cleared as of this morning.“County highway crews have been working since 5 a.m. to get at least one pass on all roadways and will be out all day working on the roads.“Blowing and drifting overnight have roadways that were cleared yesterday, now covered with drifts in areas.“State highways are cleared, but snow covered and slick. Travel is slow and you may need to take a different route of travel when going out. Take extreme caution when driving today.”Cathy Broxon-Ball at the Whitley County Emergency Management/Department of Homeland Security said this morning that while the snow has stopped falling, the after-effects are still being dealt with.“There are still some roads that haven’t been touched,” she said. “We’re working on (County Road) 50 West with front-end loaders to remove the snow.“In some places there are four- to six-foot drifts.”Broxon-Ball said the work of road crews is challenged by ever-changing weather conditions.“In a lot of places we have a lane and a half open, but some places that melted last night are now frozen,” she said.The press release issued by the commissioners through Broxon-Ball’s office described a Level 2 as a declaration made when the snow emergency “may be threatening to the safety of the public.”Under a Level 2, only essential travel is recommended “(i.e. to and from work, emergency situations, etc). Emergency action plans have been or should be implemented by businesses, schools, government agencies and other organizations.“