AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Valley saw a heavy dumping of snow this week and it can be hard to get around, especially for postal workers and first responders.
With over a foot of snow in the ground, it can create a barrier for many workers. Naddia Dhalai with USPS is urging property owners to look out for letter carriers, especially during the snowy months.
“If it is unsafe, they will have to tack back the mail and reattempt it the next day, so it does impact delivery,” Dhalai said. “We are asking customers to clear the paths of snow and ice on their sidewalks, around their mailboxes, on their porches, whatever paths lead to their mailbox to make sure that is clear so our carriers can deliver the mail safely.”
In addition to keeping sidewalks clear for the mail carriers, another way to keep the community safe is by clearing off fire hydrants. Austintown Fire Chief Andy Frost said keeping those hydrants clear saves precious time for emergency workers.
“It takes us a while at first to dig one out. Second, if we can’t get to it, there is too much ice built up around it, we will have to lay hose to another – at least 500 feet of hose,” Frost said.
Hydrants can be hard to locate while covered in snow. Frost says keeping them visible helps crews act fast.
Youngstown resident Scot McCartney is also a volunteer firefighter. He knows that digging the hydrants out can save a lot of time in case of a fire.
“The snow is so deep. Snow shovels should not be the first thing off of a tuck. They have more important things to do than try to shovel snow off of a fire hydrant,” McCartney said.
Frost said fire departments suggest about three feet in diameter be shoveled around a hydrant as well as access to the street. These are all ways to keep communities safe during heavy snowfall.