Lucas Co. downgraded to Level 2 Snow Emergency - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Lucas Co. downgraded to Level 2 Snow Emergency

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UPDATE: The Lucas County Sheriff has downgraded Lucas County to a Level 2 Snow Emergency as of 3:30 p.m. this afternoon.

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Hundreds of schools cancelled classes and life slowed to a crawl in many ways Wednesday after the latest snowstorm blew into town.

Lucas County was among six counties that declared a Level Three snow emergency Wednesday to restrict travel to emergencies and reduce the number of people on the roads.  Highway crews struggled to keep up as the steady snow continued to fall in the early afternoon. 

For a time, due to icy conditions, authorities closed the Maumee-Perrysburg bridge in both directions shortly after 8:00am.  The bridge was later re-opened.  

Lucas County switched to a Level 2 from a Level 3 emergency early Wednesday morning and later switched back to Level 3.  Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp told 13abc he placed Lucas County under a Level 3 overnight "to get a head start on it.  We will continue to monitor conditions throughout the day to see if we need to change that.  We encourage people not to go out unless they absolutely have to."  Tharp added that he urged motorists to stay off the expressways if possible. 

Ottawa County issued a Level 3 emergency around 8:00am Wednesday because Sheriff Steve Levorchick said that "winds are terrible right now and the snow is going across the roads so hard, you can't even see where the edge of the road is located." 

In Findlay, snow fell non-stop overnight but began to taper off as of 8:10am.  Zac Pitts reported that parking lots were being cleared for businesses repeatedly.  Stiff winds continued to cause a sharp wind chill effect as well as drifting on rural roadways.

Another winter storm put down a fresh layer of heavy snow resulting in school and business closings, accidents and snow emergencies.

More than 200 school systems cancelled classes Wednesday.  Many businesses closed and cancelled shift work. 

Winds increased Wednesday morning, which created blowing and drifting snow.  13abc's Tony Geftos reported live from I-475 that the flakes were "coming right at us" and that visibilities were reduced as snow was blowing sideways.  13abc's Zac Pitts reported from Findlay that "blowing and drifting is the issue this morning" as winds picked up in the Flag City. 

There were some reports of accidents including a semi that jackknifed along I-75 near mile marker 191 and a van that crashed through a fence along Dorr Street.  13abc reporter Christina Williams reported that I-75 was treacherous because of icy conditions.  Two people operating a snowmobile on the Ottawa River fell into the icy water when ice gave way.  They were rescued by Toledo Fire and Rescue units assisted by Washington Township.  The riders were not hurt.  A crash along the Ohio Turnpike slowed traffic in Williams County at mid-morning.

Preliminary snow totals included eight inches in Sylvania, up to ten inches in Findlay and Tiffin, seven inches in South Toledo and around nine inches in Maumee.  Official totals won't be known until later Wednesday as snow continued to fall.

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