Level 3 ''ice emergency,'' says Lucas County sheriff

9:01 p.m. UPDATE: Lucas County will be downgraded to Level 2 snow emergency as of 11 p.m., according to Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp.

Original story:

Lucas County Sheriff John Tharp has extended the level three snow emergency until at least midnight Tuesday.

The emergency level was downgraded from three, to two Monday afternoon, but raised again at about 3 a.m. Tuesday morning due to ice.

Tharpe says he saw how slick the roads were when he was watching from a US-23 overpass.

"There is two vehicles down in the snow, in the ditch... a tractor trailer come through, started sliding, slid off the expressway. So now I have three vehicles there," recalls Tharpe.

He says there was no choice, but to raise the level again.

Tharpe says, "We had to go to a level three. Somebody is going to get killed."

With the temperature so cold, there is little that can be done to attack the icy conditions. Roads can't be treated with chemicals at these temps, and salt is only effective to about 20 degrees.

Most businesses should be closed as well during level three.

"I would caution companies to look at their own internal policies, and be very careful," says County Commission President Carol Contrada.

Even if company policy calls for employees to work under Tuesday's conditions, it may violate county code.

Contrada says, "Companies that are requiring their employees to come in under a level three emergency, that don't provide essential services such as hospitals or safety services, may put their employees at risk."

Even some essential employees couldn't dig out. Toledo Hospital had to recruit volunteers with four-wheel-drive automobiles to get people to work.

Anyone caught on the roads that shouldn't be there, is subject to ticketing, fines, and possibly having their car towed.

City officials urge people to stay home, unless it is absolutely necessary to venture out.