Mild start to winter stalls local winter workers

Local News

Temperatures are above average and snow totals are below average so far this winter

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Temperatures are above average and snow totals are below average so far this winter, but while you may be enjoying your drive to work, some people depend on snowy weather to keep them working through the winter months.

While January and February are typically our snowiest months, December usually provides enough snow for a few good snowplow days but not this season.

Instead of dealing with snow and cold around the holidays, we were dealing with fog and rain, impacting drivers in other ways.

Our snow total for December was 7 inches below normal. That means little to no work for snowplow drivers, who had a late start last year, too.

Johnny DeFrank, co-owner of Clutch Performance Lawn and Landscape, reached out to the First News Storm Team asking when there would be significant snowfall. His company needs several inches to get steady work.

“Normally two to three inches, although if it gets icy, some parking lots. People want stuff done, so we go out and salt. I take care of a church as well. But it’s pretty mild – a little bit of snow but not much,” DeFrank said.

The company has enough work during the other seasons that winter work is a bonus, but planning for it can be challenging. Plowing can be a big investment in equipment and when it doesn’t pan out, the company can take a hit.

“Personally, I’d rather stick to just spring, summer and fall, but this helps to get money in the winter. If it doesn’t work out, it is what it is,” DeFrank said.

It takes about two to three inches of snow to start clearing residential driveways, but commercial areas need to always be clear.

DeFrank said he’s never considered heading farther north into the Snowbelt to find work. He said he wants to stick to routes where his customers might need him.

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