Cold spell impacts Tallmadge schools, city

Second weather system in one month prompts closings, delay in road salt delivery

by Holly Schoenstein | reporter Published:

Tallmadge -- For the second time in one month, Tallmadge found itself battling a deep freeze last week that cast below-zero temperatures and even colder wind chills on the city.

Not long after thawing from the extreme weather at the beginning of January, another system moved into the area, prompting Tallmadge City Schools to close and the city to deal with minor delays in road salty delivery.

Tallmadge Schools Superintendent Jeff Ferguson instituted a two-hour delay for the start of school Jan. 27, the first delay of the school year. Then he called the school district's first full calamity days of the school year -- Jan. 28 and 29. School was back in session Jan. 30.

Bryan Esler, Tallmadge public service director, said the city fared about the same during the second cold snap as it did the first.

The weekend before the worst of the subzero weather set in last week, crews dealt with a heavy snowfall by working overtime in five-person, eight-hour shifts to clear and salt the roads.

Esler said the recent demand for road salt throughout the state has led to minor delays in delivery. In Tallmadge, the city staffed a worker after hours for one night to accept a delivery and move salt into the dome.

"I guess traffic was really bad, and trucks were having a hard time getting here," he said. "With all the cities in the same boat, all wanting salt, sometimes those trucks have to sit in lines at the mine for a long time before they can even get a load."

Because the city keeps its supply stocked throughout the winter by ordering salt as it's used, Esler said the delay in delivery didn't cause any problems.

Two water mains -- one at Southeast and Elm avenues and another on Perry Road -- broke the week before the most recent bout of frigid temperatures, and both were repaired within a few hours, he said.

"Sometimes it's not a bad leak, and [the water is] just running down the ditch lines. Other times it's more severe, and [the water is] out on the roads," Esler said. "It's not like you see 3 or 4 inches of water going down the road or anything. You just have a trace of water going down the road."

Crews salt the affected roads after water main breaks to help prevent ice from forming, he said.

The city received notifications of a handful city-owned water meters that weren't working properly and one report of frozen water pipes at a residence, which turned out to be the responsibility of the homeowner.

The Tallmadge Recreation Center continues to serve as a place where residents can go if they're experiencing problems with their furnaces because of the weather. The facility will be open as a warming center during regular Rec Center hours. Those who need it after hours are asked to contact the Tallmadge Police Department at 330-633-2181 for assistance.

The National Weather Service expects the weather to improve for the weekend, with a high of 28 degrees with cloudy skies for Feb. 2.

Contact this reporter at 330-541-9428 or hschoenstein@recordpub.com

Facebook: Holly Schoenstein, Record Publishing Co.

Twitter: @SchoensteinH

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