Statement issued Monday:
Allen County officials are sending out a reminder about the County's Winter Weather Event Declaration Policy in light of the winter storm warning issued by the National Weather Service in effect tonight through Wednesday evening.
The County's policy consists of four different levels:
- Red – Level 1 – Declared Emergency. A State of Emergency has been declared by the County Commissioners. Travel may be restricted to emergency personnel ONLY! Further restrictions may be included in the declaration.
- Orange – Level 2 – Warning. Conditions are threatening to the safety of the public. 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.
- Yellow – Level 3 – Watch. Routine travel or activities may be restricted in areas because of a hazardous situation; citizens should use caution or avoid these areas. Schools and businesses may begin to implement their emergency action plans.
- White – Level 4 – Caution. A condition may develop that limits or hinders travel or activities in isolated areas. No travel restrictions have been reported, but citizens should be alert to changing conditions.
Once that happens, the information will be sent out through the County's Nixle Community Information Service, its Twitter and Facebook social media platforms, and the news media. The County Highway Department will also be prepared in case the snow comes as predicted.
The Highway Department will use several types of vehicles for snow and ice control – five graders, 19 tandem axle dump trucks, 16 single axle dump trucks, and four one-ton small dump trucks.
Allen County is divided into North and South Districts with 12 zones in each district. Each zone will have at least one truck, and some will have two or more trucks. Graders are assigned to gravel roads, areas with large drifts of snow, and clearing berms of snow build-ups.
The anti-icing materials used are sand, rock, salt, calcium chloride and stone chips. A sand-salt mixture will be used on most roads. Calcium chloride mixed with sand and salt will be used on roads that need to be cleaned to bare pavement. Stone chips will be used on gravel roads when they become slippery.
On higher traffic count highways, liquid calcium chloride will be applied along with a salt-sand mixture. 23 trucks are outfitted with systems that dispense the liquid onto the salt and sand.
The calcium chloride solution speeds the chemical reaction of the salt, causing it to melt the snow and ice much quicker.