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Storm leaves Valley snowstruck

Communities buried under more than a foot of flakes

Joe Tillman, driving for Maverick Transportation LLC of Arkansas, waits for help Monday after his rig got stuck in deep snow at the intersection of Elm Road and Larchmont Avenue NE in Warren. He was on his way to Wheatland Tube Co. in Warren to pick up a load. Staff photo / R. Michael Semple

Travels should be easier this morning following a heavy 24 hours of digging out.

The first major winter storm of the season put a direct hit on the Mahoning Valley overnight Monday as more than a foot of snow fell on many communities, with some northern Trumbull County areas registering as much as 15 to 18 inches.

The storm closed many businesses and other services and would have closed schools and other government entities if it hadn’t been for the Martin Luther King holiday on Monday.

Some schools and businesses remain shuttered today.

The National Weather Service about 1 p.m. Monday showed accumulating snow had ended, but blowing and drifting snow was still a possibility for the area for the rest of Monday.

The NWS reported five inches of snow had fallen at midnight Monday at the Youngstown Warren Regional Airport with an additional 6.9 inches reported by 5 p.m. Monday bringing the monthly total to 13.9 inches and 16 inches for the season.

The Cleveland office of the NWS, however, reported 19 inches of snow fell during a 12-hour period in Southington. In Cortland, 15 inches of snow was reported on the ground Monday afternoon.

BUSY CALL CENTER

The Trumbull County 911 Center was busy all morning answering accident calls and reports from motorists stuck on roads or streets that were made impassable by heavy snows that fell as one to two inches per hour overnight.

Trumbull County Commissioner Frank Fuda, after seeing the weather reports, said if people don’t have to go out, they should stay home.

As daylight dawned, neighborhoods were strewn with snowblowers and plows as many who had to go to work Monday morning waited for their neighborhood streets to be plowed just so they could leave their driveways.

Trumbull 911 reported a 26-year-old Vienna man who had walked out of his Smith Stewart Road house into the snowstorm shortly after 6 a.m. Monday was found safe by township police about two hours later at a nearby Sodom Hutchings Road home.

Authorities had been trying to get area police dogs to help with the search, the 911 center reported, but because of the storm such tasks had been difficult. Drones from the Mahoning County sheriff and Austintown police had been activated.

Trumbull 911 officials also reported the storm had resulted of reports of many vehicles off roads throughout the early morning hours. Heavily snow made many secondary roads and side streets impassable.

JACKKNIFED

Among the major problems around noon on Monday was that a tractor trailer had jackknifed into a snow bank as the driver tried to turn from the southbound lane of Elm Road NE onto Larchmont Avenue NE in front of the convenience store.

The driver, Joe Tillman of Arkansas, who worked for Maverick Trucking, said he was going to make a pickup at the Wheatland Tube facility just north on Larchmont Avenue in Howland when the mishap occurred.

Also motorists had trouble making the snowy grade on the westbound entrance ramp from Elm Road onto the state Routes 5 / 82 Warren bypass.

The Western Reserve Transit Authority had canceled all its routes for Monday due to the storm and impassable roads.

WRTA officials said the transportation company is expected to resume service today.

Republic Services announced all Monday trash collection routes in Mahoning and Columbiana counties were suspended, with services expected to resume today on a one-day delay, depending on the severity of the storm.

OUTLOOK

The NWS is forecasting colder days this week with less snow. Today is expected to be cloudy with a high near 30. Wednesday’s high is near 40 with a 40 percent chance of snow. Thursday and Friday are to be highs in the lower 20s with cloudy skies and lows near zero. Saturday’s high is in the mid 20s with partly sunny skies.

Many parking bans in area communities have remained in effect until further notice or have been extended from its original deadline.

Due to dangerous or impassable road conditions caused by inclement weather, many of our newspaper deliveries have been delayed today.

The newspaper asks our customers to be patient while we work to get your newspaper delivered.

Any newspapers that are not able to be delivered today will be brought to our subscribers after the roads are cleared.

Reporters Bob Coupland, Guy Vogrin and Allie Vugrincic contributed to this report.

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