Ice, Ice Baby

Opinion

Ohio does not prepare well for adverse weather

Snow and ice cover the streets and cars outside as I write this on Thursday, Jan. 29. It will be 50 degrees and sunny by the time this paper hits the stands on Tuesday, Feb. 3 if I know how Ohio weather works.

That fluctuation in weather makes keeping Ohio’s roadways clear in winter an arduous task. We don’t need to prepare for the snow and sleet like places further north that deal with longer stretches of bad weather.

North vs. South

Michigan residents would likely scoff at schools and businesses closing due to three inches of snow. Northern folks deal with the adverse conditions much better because they experience it so often.

I mention Michigan because I have a friend who moved there from Ohio. She said the first time it snowed, her dad went out to shovel the drive only to find that all the neighbors were outside with snow blowers. It only makes sense to own a snow blower when you deal with snow a couple times a week for six months a year.

Northern states could not shut down every time they get flurries because it happens far too often. On the flip side, it doesn’t make much sense to prepare for massive snowfall in Ohio because it rarely happens – maybe two or three times a year. It is much easier to just shut down cities here.

Road salt prices spike

Road salt shortages also have made it tough to clear the snow.

Last year’s harsh winter virtually wiped out salt supplies, according to the USA Today. That low supply means salt prices have spiked this year.

Salt is up $44 from last year according to wdtn.com. Higher prices coupled with lower tax revenues have forced officials to ration salt usage. Our state just does not have the resources to completely clear the roads.

Changing routines

When you cannot count on government for solutions, it is important for each citizen to adapt. When snow comes, plan for extra time in the mornings for everything. Cars need to warm up and be scraped. The usual 20-minute commute could take twice that, so plan accordingly.

Also, keep elderly family and friends in mind during these tough weather stretches, especially those who might live alone.

I do not like missing class. I paid for it. I want to be here. That said, if the roads are bad, I don’t want to be on them. Especially when I get stuck on level ground.

This exact scenario happened to me after the ice storm was over. My car – not exactly a Lexus – had snow and ice caked so bad in my wheel wells that I got stuck on flat ground on I-75. Luckily, the interstate was a parking lot at the time, so I was able to get out and take care of it.

I realize there are probably certain pressures for Sinclair Community College to be open as much as possible, but if the state and local governments cannot keep the roads clear, classes should be canceled.

After all, it will be 50 degrees in a matter of hours.

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