Effective at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Lucas County will be under a Level 3 Snow Emergency.
In Lucas County, a level 3 snow emergency means only essential personnel should be on the roadways in the county and in the city of Toledo. Essential personnel include emergency vehicles, plow trucks, and hospital and media employees. Those on the roads should use extreme caution.
The decision to declare a snow emergency is always up to the sheriff of each Ohio county, but Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp had some help for this storm.
Sheriff Tharp, Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins and Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada held a joint briefing at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday. The sheriff said they decided together to go to a level 3 snow emergency starting at 11:30 p.m.
The sheriff and mayor say the level 3 will give city and ODOT plows time to do their work.
During the Jan. 5 snowstorm, the sheriff gave four hours of notice before the level 3 began. Mayor Collins says that helped prepare people and avoid panic, so they are doing the same this time around.
The sheriff said he's also worried about big rigs on the roads.
"The tractor trailers that are jackknifing, causing bodily harm to others, causing horrible, horrible accidents," Tharp said. "We need to stay off the expressways, and all through [Wednesday], if at all possible, stay off the expressways and take the other roads."
The sheriff says he will be in contact with his deputies and other police departments in the county to determine at 5 a.m. whether to extend the level 3 or not.
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