City of Cleveland Continues Monitoring Operations During Extreme Cold Weather

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

CLEVELAND – Today, the City of Cleveland continues to monitor its operations and outreach during the cold snap resulting from the Polar Vortex.

Over the last 24 hours, the Division of Emergency Medical Service received two calls for service concerning cold weather injuries. In both these cases neither required transportation. The Division of Police has increased patrol vehicles by 10 per shift, stepping up patrols through each of the 22 recreation centers across the city and with visits to the homeless camps. 

Operationally, there have 300 customers experience power outages both on the east and west side of the city and all are being restored. Cleveland Water is working on several known water main breaks and will continue their efforts to make repairs and restore services to all their customers as quickly as possible.

The City recreations centers, which also serve as warming centers, remain open during regular business hours: Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The City of Cleveland’s departments continue to work with Cuyahoga County, area shelters and several community organizations to assist those without a home. Partners from FrontLine Services asked that the City share information about where to go and what to do if you are looking for shelter during this cold snap. Anyone in need of shelter should go to the Bishop Cosgrove Center at 1736 Superior Ave. from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – except for families. Families in need of shelter should call 2-1-1 for assistance. 

Information and Numbers to Keep in Mind:

    • The City of Cleveland’s Office of Aging provides a Winter Resource Guide which gives helpful tips and information for qualified Cleveland Residents.
    • If you are experiencing a water main break on your street please call Cleveland Water 664-3060.
    • For a power outage you should contact Cleveland Public Power at 664-3156.

Yesterday, during a joint media briefing, City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County officials discussed winter preparedness information and shared valuable safety tips. Click here to watch the video on the City of Cleveland Facebook page.

The National Weather Service reiterated its wind chill warning which began Tuesday night and extends into Thursday late afternoon. The temperature today remain at or below 0 (zero degrees) with wind chill values as low as -4 degrees. Thursday’s high is also expected to be in the single digits.

“During this severe weather, we want our employees, visitors and residents to be safe, warm and secure,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “We encourage them to follow our updates on social media and the city blog for the latest information.”

Recreation Centers Open as Warming Centers

The City of Cleveland’s 22 recreation centers will be open during this cold snap from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. as warming centers for those in need of a heated place to stay during the day. Click here to view a list of recreation centers around the city.

In addition, the City of Cleveland encourages those in need of shelter to contact 2-1-1 for assistance in locating housing. The City of Cleveland is working with Cuyahoga County and a number of shelters and nonprofits to find housing for the homeless during this extreme weather.

Waste Collection Delayed

The City of Cleveland announced it has suspended waste collection from Jan. 30-Feb. 1.

“As much as possible, we ask City of Cleveland residents to avoid being out in these record cold temperatures,” said Chief Operations Officer Darnell Brown. “Similarly - for the health and safety of our waste collectors who work outdoors – we have suspended waste collection operations for the rest of the week.”

Residents are asked not to put waste out for collection on Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. They are encouraged to stay indoors and put waste out the following week instead.

For more info, please call the Division of Waste Collection at (216) 664-3711 or visit www.clevelandohio.gov.

Roads and Bridges

Although little precipitation is forecasted with the polar vortex weather moving into Cleveland this week, the Department of Public Works is prepared. Salting will continue on city streets and bridges to prevent iciness on the roads.

Get Alerts on CodeRED and City of Cleveland Social Media

Residents are encouraged to sign up for emergency alerts from the City of Cleveland by using our CodeRED software. Sign-up is easy: users can register online by clicking here or by downloading the CodeRED app in the Apple Store or Google Play. Users can sign up for which alerts they would like to receive and the notifications can be sent to a cell phone, landline or email address. 

Our weather-related alerts from water main breaks to delays in waste collection to office closures are posted on the City of Cleveland’s social media accounts and blog. Follow us on Twitter at @cityofcleveland, Facebook at facebook.com/cityofcleveland and our blog at clecityhall.com.

Senior Safety

Important tips from the City of Cleveland Department of Aging:

    • Bundle Up – Wear multiple layers and keep covered. Seniors are at greater risk of hypothermia and frostbite.
    • 68 Degrees – During the winter, seniors are encouraged to keep their thermostats at 68 degrees to maintain a safe temperature inside their home.
    • Keep Covered Outdoors – In order to avoid respiratory issues, seniors are advised to keep their mouths covered with a scarf or other clothing when outdoors. Also wear plenty of layers including hats and gloves.
    • Check Supplies – In the event of an emergency, make sure you have plenty of supplies such as flashlights, batteries, and two to three days of emergency supplies including food and water.

Click here to view the Department of Aging’s Winter Resource Guide for more senior tips.

Animal Care

Keep pets indoors. Please do not leave them outside in this extreme cold. Ensure they have a safe warm place to stay. It is unlawful to leave pets outdoors in the cold weather.

Avoiding Frostbite and Hypothermia

“Frostbite and hypothermia are two major concerns during the cold weather that’s coming,” said Commander Chris Chapin of Cleveland EMS. “The best way to treat these is to prevent them.”

    • Wear multiple loose layers. If the layers get wet, remove and replace them. 
    • Cover all exposed areas including your mouth when outdoors. The sudden rush of cold air to the lungs can trigger conditions like asthma.
    • Frostbite is a serious condition and anyone affected should seek emergency treatment immediately. Do not put affected areas on a direct heat source. Passive heat is the best way to warm the skin.

Preventing Fire Hazards

In order to be safe and prevent fires during this extreme cold weather, here are some tips from the Division of Fire:

    • Don’t use ovens to heat homes. It is dangerous to leave stoves unattended. Running an oven or burners emits carbon monoxide that is hazardous to health.
    • Use space heaters safely. Do not leave them unattended. Make sure they are properly plugged into a wall and not an overloaded power strip. Propane and kerosene space heaters are especially dangerous and should not be left unattended. They also emit carbon monoxide.
    • Do not overload circuits. Power strips allow users to plug many items into one outlet, but doing so presents the danger of overloading which can result in a fire. Consider distributing items to other outlets.
    • During extreme weather, the Division of Fire cautions that incidences of fires increase. To stay safe, be sure to check that your fire and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.

Prevent Plumbing Issues

When the temperatures get cold and the frost gets deeper into the ground, water mains are susceptible to breaks. However, when it comes to cold weather-related problems at home, wind chill is the greatest factor. Check out these tips from Cleveland Water to keep your plumbing safe:

    • Keep a pencil-thin stream of water running to help prevent frozen pipes. 
    • If you’ll be away from your home, be sure to turn up your thermostat to at least 55 degrees to help prevent frozen pipes.
    • Know where your water shut off valve is in the event that your pipes freeze to prevent flooding.

For more info, click here to view winter safety info from Cleveland Water and click here to check out winter-related posts on Cleveland Water’s blog. 

RTA Stations Open 24 Hours During Cold Weather Spell

RTA will keep several enclosed passenger facilities and transit centers open all night for three nights beginning Tuesday evening, Jan. 29 through Thursday, Jan. 31.

The facilities and transit centers that will be open for 24 hours are:

    • West 117 Station on the Red Line, 11631 Madison Ave.
    • Southgate Transit Center - 5491 Warrensville Center Rd., Maple Hts. (always open all night)
    • Westgate Transit Center - 21159 Center Ridge Rd., Fairview Park
    • Parma Transit Center - 8750 Day Drive, Parma
    • Louis Stokes/Windermere Station on the Red Line, 14232 Euclid Ave., East Cleveland

For details, click here to visit RTA’s website.

About the City of Cleveland 

The City of Cleveland is committed to improving quality of life for its residents by strengthening neighborhoods, delivering superior services, embracing diversity and making Cleveland a desirable, safe city in which to live, work, play and do business. For more information on the City of Cleveland, visit online at www.clevelandohio.gov, Twitter at @cityofcleveland, Facebook at facebook.com/cityofcleveland or on our blog at clecityhall.com.

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