November 23, 2014


Cities bought extra salt, equipment ahead of storm

A city of Elyria snowplow works to clear Third Street Tuesday night. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

A city of Elyria snowplow works to clear Third Street Tuesday night. STEVE MANHEIM/CHRONICLE

Anna Merriman, Evan Goodenow and Steve Fogarty
The Chronicle-Telegram

City officials around Lorain County prepared Tuesday for heavy snow.

“We’re expecting a big storm,” Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer said.

Between 6 to 10 inches of snowfall overnight and today were predicted by the National Weather Service, with winds between 15 and 25 mph this morning. The snow, which began around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, was expected to continue until about 5 p.m. today.

No major crashes had been reported by 11 p.m. Tuesday, according to local police and the Ohio Highway Patrol.

At 9 p.m. Tuesday, the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office issued a level 2 snow emergency, which is still in effect this morning. A level 2 snow emergency means that roadways are extremely hazardous. Only those who feel it necessary to travel should be on the roadways. Employees should comply with workplace policies or contact their employer.

Parking bans have been issued in Avon Lake until noon Wednesday, Elyria and Lorain.

Elyria, Lorain and North Ridgeville prepared ahead of the storm by buying extra salt and equipment, while smaller towns had few choices but to wait and watch.

A passenger wipes snow off a car on Broad Street.

A passenger wipes snow off a car on Broad Street.

“All of our equipment is ready,” Amherst Mayor David Taylor said Tuesday.

Vermilion Mayor Eileen Bulan said the Street Department would begin plowing about 7 p.m. Tuesday if the storm hit as hard as predicted. “Sometimes it doesn’t happen like you think,” she said.

Elyria Safety Service Director Mary Siwierka said Elyria should be fine after receiving 80 tons of salt Monday. She expected an additional 10 to 15 truckloads of salt Tuesday.

Siwierka asked motorists to keep their vehicles off the road and in driveways to improve plowing.

Lorain received about 1,100 tons of salt Monday, increasing its supply to about 1,700 tons, Ritenauer said. Ritenauer told City Council members Monday that the supply should get Lorain through this storm and future storms, but a contingency plan has been developed if Lorain can’t get salt from Cargill, its supplier.

A Lorain vendor has offered to supply salt finer than typical road salt. It would be mixed with the existing supply.

“It would extend us out if we have to do that,” Ritenauer said.

Ritenauer said Tuesday that Lorain recently ordered extra plow blades to replace the city’s current blades. Road crews were sent out Tuesday night to “pre-salt” roads, and a snow ban took effect. Despite the preparation, Ritenauer said he hopes people will still be careful and leave for work earlier today.

North Ridgeville Mayor David Gillock said the city should have enough salt for today, “but I don’t know what we’re going to do after that.”

North Ridgeville reserved 3,500 tons of rock salt in May from its suppliers in anticipation of the winter. Gillock said the city has the option of buying up to 120 percent of the salt it reserves. North Ridgeville has surpassed the 120 percent ceiling due to the severe winter and has 870 tons of salt left.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or
Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or
Contact Steve Fogarty at 329-7145 or

  • Anthony Sweeten

    Where is all this salt and extra man power at, I can tell you it is not on the side streets at all so for the past 45 mins I was trying to get off greely but could not get more than 5-10 feet before I became stuck as the tires could not get any traction due to the ice under this snow. How bout the city take care of the streets and drop some of this extra salt so we can get to work to pay taxes that this city keeps complaining are not enough to run the city.

    • HankKwah

      The main streets get priority, you should know that by now. The side streets will get lightly salted, if at all. Because of the mild winter we had last year, municipalities didn’t order that much salt, so Cargill didn’t mine that much. Now that we’re getting our butts kicked by Mother Nature, everyone wants salt and supplies are limited.

      • Phil Blank

        Because of the mild winter last year, they said in the news that they had plenty of salt left over.

        • HankKwah

          The cities had salt left over, but they obviously weren’t expecting all the snow we got.

  • givemeabreak1234

    I totally agree what extra salt Lorain is a joke and the mayor should be looking for his new job.

  • Phil Blank

    Morning news reports one Ohio city is using cinders in place of salt. Cinders in the form of power plant coal waste, remember the big black piles out in Avon Lake?
    All the poison it still holds will now drain into your water supply, that is the reason they stopped using it years ago.
    What is wrong with using sand?

    • Toad

      it would ruin the beach. no sand left for sun bathing and volly ball