Cleveland Digs Out of Wednesday Night Snowfall
by Nick Castele
Cleveland’s chief of operations says snowplow crews have been working “around the clock” to clear roads after this week’s snowfall.
Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Chief of Operations Darnell Brown said the city has a number of snowplow drivers working 12-hour shifts and others working regular shifts.
“We’ve been working since yesterday, so we’ll continue to have 44 crews on around the clock,” Brown said. “Our initial goal is to make streets passable. That’s what we do on our primaries and our secondaries. Once we get passables, then we go into the residentials.”
The city declared an on-street parking ban until further notice. The ban applies to streets marked with red and white signs.
As of Thursday evening, main and secondary roads “are in fair to passable conditions in some areas and in poor condition in the areas hit hardest by the snow fall, mainly the west side of Cleveland,” according to a news release from the city.
Brown said he’s concerned about what happens to all the snow if things start to warm up as predicted this weekend.
“Warming means melting snow, so slushy, icy conditions,” he said. “And then the melting, that affects levels in rivers, streams, etc., so flooding then becomes something we’d be concerned about.”
Brown said the city has 51,000 tons of salt at the ready to clear roads of snow and ice.
Gusts of wind blowing snow back onto plowed streets made for an additional challenge.
“Just like it was difficult for commuters, it was difficult for the folks that were out there operating in the snow fleet to understand the impact we were having,” he said.
Brown said Cleveland will open warming centers Thursday evening at Michael Zone Recreation Center on the west side, and Zelma George Recreation Center on the east side.