Engineers hope for snow to minimize flood woes


Items with Freon, such as refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners and dehumidifiers, must have the refrigerant removed by a licensed technician and be marked with a sticker before being placed outside for pickup.

Household hazardous materials, such as paints and chemicals, should not be placed in with regular trash.

Some waste, such as construction and demolition debris, can be disposed at any solid waste landfill, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency This includes glass, carpet, utility poles, asphalt, brick and lumber.

For more information, call your local government center for complete restrictions, or call Allied Waste Management, which contracts with some local municipalities, at 330-793-7676.

By Kristine Gill

and Karl Henkel

news@vindy.com

YOUNGSTOWN

Flood warnings in Mahoning, Columbiana and Trumbull counties have staff of the Army Corps of Engineers hoping for snow.

“I know most people don’t look forward to the snow, but if it comes earlier, from a river standpoint, that’s good,” said Werner Loehlein, chief of the water management branch in the Pittsburgh district.

Too much rain Thursday and into the weekend could lead to flooding when watersheds and reservoirs fill too quickly. But snow, which stays on the ground and doesn’t become runoff until it melts, could buy the Mahoning River some time.

Water is diverted to the reservoirs during heavy storms to avoid flooding and is released back into the rivers in between major storms.

“The issue now is we haven’t had a lot of time between storms to get rid of a lot of the water,” Loehlein said.

The Berlin Lake reservoir, which provides flood protection for the Mahoning River, was at 88 percent capacity Thursday afternoon. It is connected to the Lake Milton reservoir, which was at 32 percent capacity.

The Mahoning River was rising as of Thursday afternoon, while water was being moved from Berlin reservoir to Milton reservoir.

The National Weather Service issued flood warnings for Columbiana County through Sunday and for Trumbull County through tonight. A flood watch for Mahoning County ended at 10 p.m. Thursday.

A winter storm warning is in effect through 10 tonight for the Mahoning Valley. The National Weather Service on Thursday night said as much as 8 inches of snow could fall on the Mahoning Valley by late tonight.

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and the Ohio Emergency Management Agency are working with local officials to expedite safe disposal of debris and waste from flooding twice in the past week. The agencies said some waste, such as construction and demolition debris, can be disposed at any solid waste landfill. This includes glass, carpet, utility poles, asphalt, brick and lumber.

The agencies also urged residents not to burn debris, especially hazardous waste, as it is generally illegal if within 1,000 feet of a home.

For those whose basements were flooded because of the rain and melted snow and have extensive damage to large items, companies, such as Wolford’s Rolloff Inc. in McDonald, provide large boxes to pack furniture and appliances for disposal.

Glenn Wolford, office manager, said many ordered boxes immediately after the flooding, and he expects many more to call soon.

“Most people have been turning them pretty quickly,” he said. “They want them in and out.”

The boxes range from 8 to 40 yards and start at $175 for a week; Wolford’s will pick up the boxes and dispose of anything inside, with the exception of materials such as paint cans and car batteries.

Tom Telego, director of the Niles Office of Emergency Management, said Niles residents should put out any damaged possessions on their regularly scheduled trash pickup day.

“As long as one person can lift it, they should be able to take care of it,” he said.

Greg Kovalchick, compliance manager at Geauga-Trumbull Solid Waste Management District, 5138 Enterprise Blvd. in Warren, said residents can drop off household hazardous materials, but will have to hold onto them until the center opens in May.

“Set it aside or box it up,” he said. “It’ll be fine until then.”

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