Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard has issued a Level 3 weather emergency, effective at noon today.
(UPDATE: The snow emergency was reduced to a Level 2 early Tuesday morning.)
"With the hazardous conditions we're currently having, this is the prudent thing to do," Howard said.
By issuing the Level 3 at noon, Howard said it gives time for residents to travel home safely before dark.
"With the increased wind gusts up to 40 miles per hour and extreme cold as low as minus-40 below zero with the wind chill tonight, the temperatures being displayed are an extreme hazard to our citizens and emergency services personnel," Howard said. "The safety of our citizens of this county is paramount and with this in mind, I have ordered a Level 3 snow emergency — effective at noon today — to be evaluated periodically."
The driver of a vehicle found on the roadways during a Level 3 could be charged with "misconduct at emergency."
"Emergency facility personnel" are permitted on the roadways in a Level 3.
Those include physicians, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, physician's assistants, health care workers, clerical staffs, and any individual who is a security officer performing security services in an emergency facility.
"No one should be driving during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel or a personal emergency exists," Howard said. "All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roads may subject themselves to arrest."
Howard said it it important for residents seeking information about the Level 3 to refer to the HCSO Facebook page, the Reflector site or local radio.
"Our emergency lines are being tied up," the sheriff said, adding only emergency calls should be made to (419) 663-2828.
Howard said residents currently at work are permitted to travel home.
Erie County Sheriff Paul Sigsworth has also issued a Level 3 for Erie County.
"The conditions just aren't getting any better," Sigsworth said.