EATON — Winter weather is right around the corner. The Preble County Engineers Office hosted a winter preparedness meeting at the Preble County ESC on Friday, Nov. 6 in order to gear up for the season ahead.
The meeting was intended to provide several community leaders with information regarding how the county intends on gearing up for the winter months.
Kevin Nelson, highway superintendent, spoke first. He said his crew was going to treat hills, curves, and intersections using one-to-one salt mix. They have a new mixing set up and will be treating roadways with pure salt and it will typically take drives around four hours to complete their routes on a given day.
Sheriff Mike Simpson also spoke at the meeting, saying their office coordinates with the Ohio Department of Transportation and the county highway. He noted that his office will update snow levels on their website, Facebook, and by sending out a text alert via Nixle.
The sheriff’s office will try to make a decision on snow levels in the middle of the night to give schools an opportunity to make safety decisions as soon as possible. He will also be in contact with Kyle Cross and the engineering office before making any final calls regarding levels.
In case of a level three, healthcare and emergency workers will still be allowed on roadways. They are just asked to carry their badge or ID to show an officer if they are stopped in the process.
Brian Davis, a chief meteorologist at WDTN,was the guest speaker and discussed the El Nino weather the United States is expected to experience this winter.
Ohio is in a “transition zone” for the weather pattern, meaning the state is expected to experience below average precipitation and above average temperatures.
“We’ll see some snow events but we won’t see above average snow fall more than likely,” said Davis.
But while there is a decreased probability of a large snow event, this sort of pattern does create a cold air and may lead to more freezing rain and sleeting instead.
This is also flu season, so Erik Balster spoke on the importance of good hygiene habits this time of year.
Things such as eating healthy, covering of the mouth when coughing or sneezing, and washing hands after bathroom use, while good practices all year, should be common practice during flu season.
Residents are also encouraged to purchase or check the batteries in a carbon monoxide detector and smoke detector. Issues with the heating or HVAC systems could lead to issues in the home and these detectors will be a cheap method in avoiding a potentially harmful situation.
In conclusion, during the winter months, drivers are cautioned to slow down, take their time, and be prepared. It is also requested that they do not call their local dispatchers to find out road or weather conditions. Instead, people are encouraged to visit OHgo.com, a website run by ODOT that will provide helpful roadway information.
There should also be a blanket, water, charger for cell phone, shovel, non-perishable food, and cat litter inside a car in case of emergency as well.
For more information on winter health and preparedness, visit preblecountyhealth.org.
Jeremy can be reached at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @jerskine_RH.