The Suburbanite
  • Wind chill, extreme cold blunt effectiveness of road salt

  • The road salt spread by salt-and-plow trucks was losing its effectiveness as winds left wind chill readings at sub-zero temperatures. Advisory in effect.

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  • The National Weather Service issued a wind chill advisory for the entire state as the wind chill readings were expected to sink to 15 below zero Tuesday morning.
    The weather service’s website said winds in the Stark County area would be out of the west at up to 20 mph with gusts up to 25 mph and temperatures from 4 to 12 degrees.
    The salt spread by Stark County salt-and-plow trucks was “not working too well,” said Eric Rehfus, road maintenance superintendent with the Stark County Engineer’s Office. The salt tends to stop melting ice when the temperatures dip to 17 or 18 degrees, he said.
    “If the sun comes out, it’ll make it work. But the roads are not slick. We’ve had no ice complaints,” he said.
    But the wind was keeping things cold.
    The conditions leave people with “prolonged exposure” to the weather the potential to suffer from frostbite and hypothermia, the weather service website said.
    At 8 a.m., the temperature at the Akron Canton Airport was 5 degrees with winds out of the west at 9 mph, leaving the wind chill at 9 degrees below zero. The temperature was expected to reach only 10 degrees before falling overnight to 6 degrees.
    The weather did not appear to affect airline passengers too much, as all flights were listed as arriving and departing on time, according to the airport’s website.
    Stark County road crews had been scouring the county since 4 a.m., Rehfus said.
    He reported that the roads were “OK” shortly before 8 a.m. “There are some spots where the center turn lanes are snow-covered,” he said.
    Rehfus said all 23 trucks were out on the highways and no problems had been reported.
    The drivers plan to be out all day, too.
    “Whatever the weather brings us, we’ll be here,” Rehfus said.

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