Lousy weather stalls governments and courts, as well as motorists.
Many such Mahoning County offices served notice Friday that they were closed due to treacherous roads.
Kevin Flinn, Youngstown’s buildings and grounds commissioner, said “the goal” is to have the city’s streets, including the side ones, plowed 48 hours after the snow stops.
“We have a high volume of snow accumulation,” he said.
The department’s 13 snow plows and two smaller trucks have been going nonstop since Wednesday putting down a combination of rock salt and slag to add traction to the roads, Flinn said. The snow started around 6 p.m. Thursday and the trucks were out plowing.
Two outside contractors started plowing the city’s side streets at 7 a.m. Friday.
“They’re putting a dent in the side streets,” Flinn said.
As of Friday afternoon, the expressways in the city were plowed and at least one lane was “passable” on the main streets, Flinn said.
The street department’s workers have had one day off since Jan. 15, the day before a heavy snowstorm hit the Mahoning Valley, Flinn said.
All of the county courts in Mahoning County closed Friday, and all county offices and buildings too, according to separate emails from the county’s area courts in Boardman, Canfield, Austintown and Sebring and from the Mahoning County Commissioners office.
Youngstown Municipal Court was also closed. But Campbell Municipal Court remained open, an employee of that court said.
In addition to the courts in Boardman, Austintown, Canfield and Sebring, the county courts that closed include the common pleas courts in the Mahoning County Courthouse, such as judges Anthony D’Apolito, John Durkin, R. Scott Krichbaum, Anthony Donofrio and Maureen Sweeney.
Also closed was the Mahoning County Domesti Relations Court of Judge Beth Smith.
County commissioners noted that “essential staff” would continue to work. Mahoning County Juvenile Court Judge Theresa Dellick noted that the Juvenile Justice Center remains open despite poor weather because the facility houses juveniles in its detention center.
In all cases, the commissioners said decisions about whether to close county offices and departments were made in consultation with the National Weather Service in Cleveland. They also conferred with Krichbaum, presiding judge of the Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, the commissioners stated.
Youngstown State University stayed shut, too — to a point. Classes were canceled for Friday, though the university would remain open. Employees were told they should report to work, but YSU President Jim Tressel declared non-essential employees may use unscheduled leave per university policy.
A post from the Trumbull County Sheriff’s Office advises residents to be careful as the weather forecast calls for extreme cold nights over the weekend with temperatures hovering near zero.
“The best protection to frostbite and hypothermia is proper preparedness. In the event of any emergencies, contact 911 immediately. Make sure to check on elderly neighbors and family members who may need assistance during this time,” the sheriff’s office post states.