Northeast Ohio snowfall comes to an end
Updated: 5:02 p.m., Friday, Feb. 4, 2022
The snowfall is slowing down and the National Weather Service expects less than half an inch of snow accumulation Friday afternoon. But the wind chill Friday night could make it feel like -2 degrees.
All main roadways in Cleveland have been plowed as of 7 a.m. and were to be salted by 9:30 a.m., according to an update from Mayor Justin Bibb’s office. Plows are working on residential roads.
A neighborhood on Cleveland's West Side [Carli Cichocki]
Cuyahoga County public libraries opened at 11 a.m., though Akron-Summit and Cleveland public libraries are closed.
The Akron Zoo is closed but will reopen Saturday.
The city says bus stops between W. 9th Street to E. 13th Street, from Lakeside to Carnegie Avenue in Downtown Cleveland are being cleared by a team of 16-20 workers.
Greater Cleveland RTA was forced to reroute four of its bus lines early in the day.
By midday those lines were back but experiencing delays. RTA recommends riders check the TransitApp or call 216-621-9500 to get route information.
Matthew Rolf with Clevelanders for Public Transit rode the Blue and Red Lines to work this morning and says the transit agency could have communicated more clearly about train delays.
“When they post notices on Twitter, it’s often not specific as to what issues the trains or the buses are having,” Rolf said. “And instead of reporting delays into the transit app, which most people use, it shows up as no service at all, which is very confusing.”
RTA officials said there was an average delay of about 15 to 30 minutes across the system Friday. A total of six buses became stuck in the snow over the past 48 hours.
At local hospitals, the storm exacerbated staffing shortages caused by the pandemic.
“The storm has certainly had a big impact on the hospital over the last couple of days,” said Dr. Robyn Strosaker, Chief Operating Officer of University Hospitals.
Because of concern that staff would not be able to get through the snow to the hospital for their shifts, some UH employees slept in the hospital or at nearby hotels. Some have been at the hospital for more than 48 hours after arriving on Wednesday night before the snow started, she said.
“Really very, very heroic of them to make sure that they were here so that people could get the care that they need,” Strosaker said.
Staff at Akron Children's hospital also volunteered to stay overnight at the hospital, said Chief Nursing Officer Christine Young.
She said about 75 people camped out Wednesday night as the storm was approaching and 60 stayed Thursday.
Emergency room volumes have been a little lighter than normal at UH, presumably because people have had a hard time getting in, Strosaker said.
“Usually when that happens, we would expect to see pretty high volumes the next few days afterwards,” she said.
The Cleveland Clinic and MetroHealth have also seen lighter emergency room volumes during the storm, according to officials at both hospitals. At the same time, Dr. Joe Tagliaferro, an emergency medicine physician at MetroHealth, said the hospital has seen an increase in weather-related injuries in the past week.
“We’re seeing a lot of musculoskeletal injuries, people slipping and falling, breaking their hips or their ankles, breaking their wrists,” he said.
Frost bite and injuries while shoveling are also common weather-related injuries.
Tagliaferro said he hasn’t seen any issues with ambulances being able to get to the hospital.
Staffing shortages were a problem at Cleveland Heights grocery store Zagara's Marketplace. Owner John Zagara said seven employees called off work Friday due to the snowy conditions.
There were also significantly fewer shoppers Thursday than a typical day, but he said, the store saw three times the number of regular shoppers Tuesday and Wednesday ahead of the storm.
“Some people shop like we might not get back til next week or so,” he said, “but some people are buying these little convenience things, like i don’t want to run out of beer, I don’t want to run out of snack foods, I don’t want to run out of ice cream.
Zagara said the storm hasn’t delayed deliveries, but they continue to face supply problems caused by the pandemic.
At Cleveland Hopkins Airport, many early morning flights Friday had been canceled, but planes began departing at 8:45 a.m. and most afternoon flights are scheduled for departure.
As of noon Friday, Akron-Canton Airport shows all afternoon flights departing on time.
FirstEnergy reports minimal power outages across Northeast Ohio.
Additional reporting by Matthew Richmond, Lisa Ryan and Jenny Hamel. Video produced by Gabriel Kramer.