Salem parking ban ordered

SALEM – City crews worked on getting roads cleared Thursday, while city police worked on getting vehicles cleared from roads so the plows could do their jobs.

City Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst issued a snow emergency parking ban for all city streets which was to remain in effect until 9 a.m. today due to the heavy, steady snow which was falling for most of the day.

The ban means the city can order vehicles parked on city streets towed if they’re impeding the progress of snow-clearing operations. Kenst noted the parking bans are issued as a matter of public safety and to ensure the best conditions for snow clearing.

The snow temporarily shut down some of the highways leading into the city after accidents clogged state Route 14 and state Route 344. Vehicles trying to take side roads such as Egypt Road to both Butcher and Painter roads found the going difficult as fellow motorists had trouble getting up the hills.

“The colder it gets, the harder it is for the salt to work,” Kenst said.

He suggested people only travel in this type of weather when it’s absolutely necessary. He also said people should call ahead to make sure whatever event or destination they’re trying to reach is still open and has not been cancelled.

Luckily, many area schools had not returned yet from the holiday break, but several local basketball games that had been scheduled were cancelled.

Temperatures are expected to drop even more in the coming days. A press release issued by the American Red Cross of Northeast Ohio gave several tips for staying warm and staying safe.

To avoid fire dangers, the press release said to never use a store or oven to heat a home and to keep space heaters on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least 3 feet away. Space heaters should be turned off before going to bed and generators should never be operated inside a home, basement or garage.

The press release said to wear layers of lightweight clothing to stay warm, including gloves and a hat to reduce the loss of body heat. Pets should be brought indoors and thermostats should be kept at the same temperature day and night to avoid pipes freezing.

The American Red Cross now has a free app for first aid advice in case of an emergency available on iTunes or Google Play.