Weather Columbus snow emergency in Columbus Ohio just put into effect went into effect at 10 pm this evening on Sunday, March 20th, and will remain in effect until further notice. With the snow coming down, it’s important to be aware of how this impacts the city, what it means for you, and what precautions you can take to prepare your household accordingly. Here’s all you need to know about the Columbus Ohio snow emergency so you can stay informed and avoid any fines that could come with breaking its rules.
What is a snow emergency?
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A snow emergency is when local officials declare that it’s unsafe for people to drive, due to poor road conditions. They usually do so during severe storms and blizzards, or if there is a lot of snow on public roads. This type of situation doesn’t happen often where I live, but here are some important things to know about it if it does occur. When can the declaration be made? Any time from November 15th until April 1st as long as weather conditions warrant it. What are the signs that a snow emergency has been declared? Usually, the city or county will put up signs at major intersections, declaring the area an emergency zone. When this happens, residents must park their cars off-street by 10 pm each night until further notice; violators may have their cars towed. Who needs to obey these rules?
How are they declared?
When meteorologists predict 6 inches or more of snow will fall in a 12-hour period, a weather emergency is declared. This means that parking bans are usually enforced and vehicles parked on public roads are subject to being ticketed or towed if they aren’t moved off snowy streets. It also means that cars parked at meters must be moved so that plows can clear the streets. Residents should park in their driveways and not obstruct intersections so that traffic can move freely. Parking restrictions may be lifted after the storm has passed but residents should always check for updates before leaving their homes for extended periods of time.
When do they occur?
Columbus snow emergencies can be called any time between November and March. There is typically at least one per season. Snow emergencies are declared when it’s necessary for clearing roads and salting surfaces, as well as removing hazards from streets and sidewalks. Whether or not there’s actually snow on the ground depends on how frequently they’re declared. If there’s a blizzard (or multiple storms) during the winter months, then a snow emergency will most likely be called before the next storm arrives. If there are only a few inches of snow on the ground, then you might have to wait until those first flakes start falling before getting an alert about whether or not a snow emergency has been declared.
Is it difficult to move my car when on-street parking overnight?
If your car is parked on a street overnight, be sure it’s not blocking any private driveways or fire hydrants. In some municipalities, it’s a crime to park on streets during snow emergencies (i.e., during extreme weather conditions). Know your city’s ordinances before parking anywhere overnight during a snow emergency. It could save you a ticket—or even your car! When the time comes, move your vehicle off the street and away from traffic lanes. Be courteous of other drivers who may be plowing the snow out of their driveway onto the roadway by placing caution cones around your vehicle and staying back from the road edge when clearing a path for your vehicle with a shovel or broom.