Lucas Co. sheriff stands by snow emergency reversals - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Lucas Co. sheriff stands by snow emergency reversals

Posted: Updated:

The Lucas County sheriff is facing criticism for his decision to go back to a Level 3 Snow Emergency just after 9 a.m. By that time, many parents had already left for work or dropped their kids off at daycare.

Some people are saying the sheriff put lives in danger. Some say he should not have gone to Level 2 in the first place early Wednesday morning, or he should've made the call to reverse back to a Level 3 by 7 a.m.

But the sheriff stands by his decision.

"We did the right thing," he says. "We made the right calls when they should've been made."

Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp defends his decisions, saying we'll never know whose lives may have been saved.

He says he issued the Level 3 Tuesday night to keep drivers off the road in order for the plows to have several hours to get ahead of the snow.

At 5 a.m., the sheriff switched to Level 2. He says the snow stopped, and, after hearing from his road officers and sergeants in police departments throughout the county, he determined roads were passable.

"The streets were very, very passable," the sheriff says. "If I had not gone to a Level 2 at 5 o'clock, people would've been saying, 'Why are you holding me hostage in my home?'"

But then the sheriff says there was an unexpected burst of heavy snow during a period when he thought it was supposed to be tapering off.  So, just after 9 a.m., as cars started sliding off the roads, he put the county back on a Level 3.

"If we would've known that we were going to get as much snow when we did, we never would've left a Level 3," he says.

While the sheriff stands by his decision, criticism remains. As of 11:00 p.m. Tuesday night, forecasts indicated heavy snowfall during the morning rush hour with reduced visibility.

The Level 3 snow emergency was eventually lifted at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. Lucas County is now under a Level 2 emergency.

"I feel bad where you have folks that families that have babysitters and they're taking their children back and forth," says Tharp. "It throws the community into a spin. That is something that we don't like doing, but we have to and it's a responsibility of the sheriff to make the right decision for the safety of the folks in the community."

  • LocalMore>>

  • Stretch of Angola Road closed for bridge work

    Stretch of Angola Road closed for bridge work

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:56 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:56:19 GMT
    A stretch of Angola Road that goes under I-475 will be closed beginning Tuesday for bridge work.The bridge is being widened and It's going to be shut down through December.There will be detour using McCord Road, Airport Highway and Holland-Sylvania.
    A stretch of Angola Road that goes under I-475 will be closed beginning Tuesday for bridge work.The bridge is being widened and It's going to be shut down through December.There will be detour using McCord Road, Airport Highway and Holland-Sylvania.
  • Early Head Start aims to offer services for whole family

    Early Head Start aims to offer services for whole family

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:47 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:47:25 GMT
    Students in Toledo's Head Start program are headed back to school soon. For the first time the program is being run by Toledo Public Schools.
    Students in Toledo's Head Start program are headed back to school soon. For the first time the program is being run by Toledo Public Schools.
  • Farmers make proactive steps to reduce runoff

    Farmers make proactive steps to reduce runoff

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:36 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:36:19 GMT
    Many farmers have their soil professionally tested every year and they only add the recommended nutrients on their crops. They are doing what they can to keep chemicals out of the runoff.
    Many farmers have their soil professionally tested every year and they only add the recommended nutrients on their crops. They are doing what they can to keep chemicals out of the runoff.
  • Top StoriesMore>>

  • Man found dead in barn fire, woman escapes

    Man found dead in barn fire, woman escapes

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:22 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:22:09 GMT
    One man is dead after an overnight barn fire in northern Monroe County.The sheriff's office says that barn went up in flames just before 1 a.m. Monday.It happened outside of Carelton, MI, near the intersection of Colf and Sumpter.Investigators say a 54-year-old lived in an apartment above the barn. His body was found inside.According to deputies, the man's girlfriend managed to get out alive, with burns on her hands and feet.The sheriff is waiting to release the man's identity until his famil...
    One man is dead after an overnight barn fire in northern Monroe County.The sheriff's office says that barn went up in flames just before 1 a.m. Monday.It happened outside of Carelton, MI, near the intersection of Colf and Sumpter.Investigators say a 54-year-old lived in an apartment above the barn. His body was found inside.According to deputies, the man's girlfriend managed to get out alive, with burns on her hands and feet.The sheriff is waiting to release the man's identity until his famil...
  • Labor Day parade has deep meaning for workers

    Labor Day parade has deep meaning for workers

    Monday, September 1 2014 4:14 PM EDT2014-09-01 20:14:52 GMT
    Local unions and spectators were in Downtown Toledo for the annual Labor Day Parade on Monday and participants say the event is about more to them that just another parade.
    Local unions and spectators were in Downtown Toledo for the annual Labor Day Parade on Monday and participants say the event is about more to them that just another parade.
  • Water Advisory: Toxins near South Bass Beach

    Water Advisory: Toxins near South Bass Beach

    Monday, September 1 2014 9:25 AM EDT2014-09-01 13:25:51 GMT
    For the first time this year, an algal bloom advisory is in effect for South Bass Island. Testing at the State Park Beach shows high levels of toxins in the water. It was 13 parts per billion of microcystin. That's prompting Ohio's Environmental Protection Agency to post a public health advisory.The "orange flag" cautions older people, those very young or anyone with a compromised immune system to stay out of the water near South Bass Beach. 20 parts per billion of microcystin would have laun...
    For the first time this year, an algal bloom advisory is in effect for South Bass Island. Testing at the State Park Beach shows high levels of toxins in the water. It was 13 parts per billion of microcystin. That's prompting Ohio's Environmental Protection Agency to post a public health advisory.The "orange flag" cautions older people, those very young or anyone with a compromised immune system to stay out of the water near South Bass Beach. 20 parts per billion of microcystin would have laun...

Area Events Calendar

See It, Shoot It, Send It!