Blizzard 08

Blizzard 08

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Weekend Wallop: Flights Delayed, Malls Close, People Frustrated
Last Edited: Saturday, 08 Mar 2008, 2:51 PM EST
Created: Friday, 07 Mar 2008, 12:23 PM EST
Snow in Green, OH
Fox 8 Weather

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How do you feel about the extreme winter weather that we’ve been getting lately?
Poll Results:
I’m a hearty northeast Ohioan, so I’m OK with it.
I am sooooo ready for spring to start!
66.36% Winter Weather Page
Total number of votes: 2639

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is using only one runway intermittently. … A rep with Continental Airlines tells Fox 8 News that all of its operations have ceased for the day. Click here for airport delays. DEFINITELY CALL YOUR CARRIER AHEAD OF TIME!

The Akron Canton Regional Airport remains open for now, but Summit County has ordered all non-law enforcement vehicles off of the roadways. … To see the entire list of county snow emergencies, click here.

Here is a list of some other random closings that may or may not be listed on our official “Closings” page, and there are many.

The following Westfield malls have closed Saturday: Southpark Mall; Great Northern Mall; and Belden Village Mall. … Great Lakes Mall and Summit Mall have closed on Saturday as well.

The U.S. Postal Service says that it is attempting to deliver mail as usual, but advises that there might be some delays.

The Cavaliers are playing and the Monsters game is still on. … The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, however, is closed Saturday.

Due to extremely hazardous road conditions, Parma Safety Director Greg Baeppler has declared that the roadways in Parma are to be used for emergency vehicles only.

CLEVELAND — Fox 8’s Gary Stromberg reports that St. Clair Avenue was treacherous, yet passable for most of the day on Saturday. Drivers who attempted to turn off of St. Clair to any of the side streets, however, ran into big problems.

The city snow plows had deposited big piles of snow at the entryway to all of those streets, and cars were stuck at dozens of intersections.

James Ruffin is a truck driver. He had trouble getting his rig into the parking lot at Kocian Meats. He was stuck, blocking St. Clair for 45 minutes.

“If you don’t have to be out here, don’t be out here,” Ruffin said. “I gotta make a living. I gotta pay a mortgage.”

If Ruffin’s 80,000 pound rig couldn’t make it in, it was unlikely Laurie Branch’s small car could either. It was stuck, and to make matters worse, antifreeze was spewing out of her radiator onto the snow.

“We gotta get groceries ’cause we don’t know when we are going to be able to get out here again,” Branch told Fox 8 News. “So we took a chance now.”

Ruffin and two others in the area helped push her car out of the snow. She drove away without getting that chance to buy any groceries.

Ray Green lives on East 40th Street. He and his father had already spent more than an hour shoveling snow from the driveway of their home when he told Fox 8 the following: “The bad part of this is you shovel all of this out and the snow trucks come by and pile it back in, so you gotta re-shovel it.”


(Earlier report)

CLEVELAND — A heavy late-winter snowstorm dumped 10 inches of snow, canceling flights around the state Saturday and threatening to bring near-blizzard conditions. The storm led to a slew of early school dismissals on Friday and cancellations of a weekend farmers’ market, a St. Patrick’s Day parade and a regional science competition.

The storm, which rolled in Friday, was the heaviest along a band that roughly follows Interstate 71 from Cincinnati through Columbus on to Cleveland.

Many flights into and out of Ohio were delayed or canceled. However, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport remained open despite the walloping snow.

Continental Airlines, which uses Cleveland as a hub, canceled about two-thirds of its flights Saturday, airport spokesman Todd Payne said.

“I would imagine, based on Continental’s figures, we’ll probably cancel about 50 flights today,” Payne said.

The airport has about 250 daily flights on the weekends. Twenty-five plows have been working around the clock to keep runways clear, he said.

Winds of up to 35 mph were also possible, reducing visibility to less than a quarter mile, which would make the storm a blizzard, he said.

The State Highway Patrol said it responded to 610 crashes statewide over 71/2 hours Friday. A 20-mile stretch of Interstate 70 in eastern Ohio was closed after a tractor-trailer went off the road.

The Akron Regional Science Olympiad Competition for 400 middle and high school students that was scheduled for Saturday at the University of Akron was postponed.

Akron also rescheduled Saturday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade for March 15, “when it’ll be a balmy 35 degrees and partly cloudy,” spokesman Mark Williamson said in a news release.

While some local communities have recently reported tight road salt supplies after a season that has seen one battle with snow and ice after another, the Ohio Department of Transportation’s salt barns held more than 170,000 tons of salt, an adequate supply for treating highways if the storm turned out to be as bad as forecast, ODOT spokesman Scott Varner said. Crews have shifted supplies to parts of the state where salt is likely to be needed most, including northern Ohio, he said.

Already this winter, ODOT has used more than 850,000 tons of salt on federal and state highways in Ohio, 200,000 tons more than in an average year.

“I think everyone is anxious to see spring arrive,” Varner said.

In northeast Ohio, where more than 16,000 customers still had no power after an ice storm earlier in the week, FirstEnergy Corp. was preparing for another wintry barrage while still hoping to have service restored to everyone by noon Saturday, said Tricia Ingraham, a spokeswoman for the power company.

“Snow isn’t as bad as ice, so if it’s just snow, we won’t see anywhere near the significance of what we had before,” Ingraham said, explaining that it was the weight of ice that brings down tree limbs and power lines.

More than 350 outside crews from as far away as eastern Pennsylvania were helping to restore power to hard-hit Ashtabula County, where 11,000 customers were still out late Friday morning. Most of those workers would remain in the area through the weekend, Ingraham said.
Copyright 2008 Fox Cleveland (WJW). All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.
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