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Cold weather closures call Cleveland's toughness into question

Frozen Cuyahoga River
Posted at 4:55 PM, Jan 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-31 17:57:58-05

CLEVELAND — This blast of bitter cold prompted another round of closures Thursday.

In addition to hundreds of schools in Northeast Ohio temporarily shutting their doors, stores, banks and even the post office told their employees to hunker down in the heat.

The number of places pulling the plug on operations has some questioning our toughness.

While you'd be hard pressed to find many people upset classes were canceled for hundreds of thousands of students due to this extreme cold, you will find some around town asking if we are becoming wimps when it comes to winter weather?

"We are kind of wimps when it comes to cold weather," said Hanah Franciosa.

However, not everyone agrees.

"I don't think that Clevelanders will ever become wimps to the cold weather - they can't survive that way," said Dick Pace.

Bobby Perez kept his barber shop in the 5th Street Arcade in downtown Cleveland open despite the deep freeze.

“I think we are becoming wimps," said Perez.

Instead of his normal 20 cuts a day, he was down to just five.

"Hardly anybody came through here yesterday," said Perez.

Closed signs were a common sight this week.

"Most of the places down here we're closed yesterday, so there weren’t too many people walking out," said Angela Stillman.

Businesses gave their employees a break, not only in the arcade, but across the city.

"They want everybody to be safe," said Stillman.

Some banks, disposal services and the post office among those halting operations due to the weather.

"We do have to take precautions, but if you're just careful why not have certain things open," said Michael Reihard.

Reihard said he doesn't remember there being so many non-school closings during out last severe cold snap in Cleveland back in 1994.

"I think we are becoming wimpy. I mean some of these things are vital," said Reihard.

Reihard believes some businesses and organizations are cracking under the pressure we now see building on social media.

"Nobody wants to look bad - they want to do the politically correct thing," said Reihard.

Others like Dick Pace said it comes down to common sense.

"A lot did close, for good reason," said Pace.

Pace has a theory on why we may be seeing more closings during extreme winter weather.

"In the past, people were tied to an office. Now, a lot of people have more flexible working arrangements," said Pace.

With the right gear, Reihard believes it should be business as usual regardless of what's happening outside.

"Wear extra layers, suck it up we're Clevelanders. We're all in," said Reihard.