Roads "dangerous, unsafe" says sheriff - Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Roads "dangerous, unsafe" says sheriff

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Lucas County will remain under a Level Three snow emergency until at least midnight, Tuesday.

Sheriff John Tharp says the roads are dangerous and he must protect public safety.

Normally, downtown streets melt first and at least you can get around.  But after nearly a foot of snow, and temperatures well below zero, those snowy roads are tough to clear.

"It's not a snow emergency.  At this point, it's an ice emergency."

Tuesday morning, Lucas County's sheriff announced roads are so bad in town– and in the county– that a Level Three emergency will hold until at least midnight.

Tharp told 13abc's Bill Hormann, "The streets appear to be passable but they're dangerous, they are totally, totally unsafe."

He's especially worried about I-75 which has been closed in parts several times over the last couple days.

The Level Three emergency has allowed city plows to make runs down most residential streets but some cars along the curb are blocking plows.

Tuesday afternoon, he city started towing cars to nearby streets just to make room for plows.

Public Utilities director the city of Toledo, Bill Franklin, said,  "We're not going to impound them and charge but we need them out of the way."

The below zero temperatures make it impossible for chemicals to melt the road ice.

Along with the snow packed streets and the ice pack underneath some streets have become depositories of all the plows and backhoes that are moving snow off streets.  Some corners have 10-foot mounds of snow making getting around downtown Toledo impossible.

That causes businesses to close and affects people's pay checks and hurts the county's tax collection.

Lucas County Commissioner, Pete Gerken (D) says, this is a hardship on businesses.  "We understand that this could be up to half-a-billion dollars in economic impact going into two or three days," Gerken told reporters.

And the roads are still icy and that's making travel dangerous.

Sheriff Tharp adds, "At this point, we have to go to a Level Three; somebody's going to get killed."

If you find you get stuck in the snow… the sheriff suggests:

Making sure you have a full tank of gas…

Staying in your car

Using your cell phone to call for help

And staying in your car.

Abandoning your car could impede snow plows from clearing roads and  you could put yourself in danger from either being hit by a car or from the bitter cold temperatures.

Sheriff Tharp will evaluate the Level Three throughout the night and have an update at midnight.

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