GREEN, Ohio — Snowplow drivers and street crews around the area are preparing for many bad weather possibilities from Mother Nature later this week, including heavy rain, flooding, ice, and snow.
On Tuesday, city workers in Green spent the day clearing away last week's snow from neighborhood catch basins. The fear is heavy rain and melting snow could cause bad flooding if catch basins are blocked.
"So we don't get any ice buildup in the roads, we're trying to get into basins. Hopefully, it'll make it before everything starts freezing by getting the snow out of the way," said Dave Perrine, the supervisor of Green's storm water division.
Crews also moved mounds of snow from curbs to make room for more snow.
"We're having to put it in the cul-de-sacs, up along the sides of the roads. That's the only place we can put it. There's nowhere to haul it," Perrine said.
In Canton, plow drivers are gearing up for what could be the worst part of the wintry mix: ice.
The city is expecting heavy rain during the day on Wednesday. That could transition to ice on Wednesday evening and snow throughout Thursday.
"Most of the models we've seen have been anywhere from an 1/8 of an inch (of ice) to upwards to 3/4 of an inch so that is difficult to prepare for," said Steve Trzcinski, superintendent of Canton Public Works. "Ice is the scariest part."
Trzcinski worries that a lot of ice could potentially make Canton roads a treacherous mess.
"People can navigate on roads that are hard-packed because they still have traction, but with the ice, it's hard to get the traction," Trzcinski said.
Canton crews will work 12-hour shifts and will operate 17 to 20 plows as the storm moves in. The decisions on how much salt to drop and when to drop it will depend on how much ice invades the area.
"We're going to try to utilize the rain coming in and try to determine when the temperature starts to fall to start pre-treating with just rock salt in hopes that the rock salt, the traffic, and the water will create the brine that we're gonna need," Trzcinski said.
There is also a worry that ice could weigh down power lines and cause widespread power outages.
Stark County Emergency Management Agency is preparing to open warming centers and overnight stays if residents lose juice.
Trzcinski said his crews could possibly help police and fire block roads if wires come down.
"We prepare for the worst and hope for the best," he said.
Those working to make the roads safe are urging drivers and residents to be patient since the exact weather pattern is a wild card.
"Stay safe and give us time. We just need time and hopefully 24 hours after the last snowflake, we'll have this cleared up and everything back to normal," Perrine said.