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Erie County deals with blowing, drifting snow, flooding concerns

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Feb 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-03 19:22:11-05

VERMILION, Ohio — Winter weather prompted warnings from law enforcement and closures across the western edge of Northeast Ohio Thursday.

The Vermilion River was swimming with ice and snow and flowing outside of its banks. Though the Lorain County Metro Parks said major flooding risks were minimal, the park system announced it would shut down the Mill Hollow section of the Vermilion River Reservation out of an abundance of caution Thursday morning.

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Ice jams prompted the Lorain County Metro Parks to close several areas near the Vermilion River Thursday.

Across the street, the Bacon Woods portion of the park remained open and families were enjoying a snow day on the sledding hill.

“She’ll [last] 45, 30 minutes. It all depends how many times I have to pull her up the hill,” one dad said of his 5-year-old daughter.

In adjacent Erie County, the sheriff’s office declared a level 3 snow emergency until further notice.

“When you hear level 3, stay off the roads,” cautioned Vermilion Police Chief Chris Hartung. “Usually it’s attributed to deteriorating conditions, the unpredictability of snow, drifting.”

According to the Erie County Sheriff’s Office, a level 3 classification means all roads are closed to non-emergency personnel.

It says, “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.”

Chief Hartung said the department had responded to minimal calls for service on Thursday, which he credited to residents heeding warnings.

“It’s an ongoing storm, an ongoing process. So the crews are continuing to work,” he said. “If there are conditions that crews can’t keep up with keeping the roads clear, it can be substantially more dangerous on the roads.”

The police chief and others plan to monitor the evolving road and river conditions and adjust warnings as necessary.

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