Sandy isn’t finished, but Mahoning Valley escapes her worst

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Staff report

The carousel formerly a fixture in Idora Park remains intact in its new home in New York City, but its electronics must be repaired after Hurricane Sandy swept across the East Coast.

“Fortunately, the carousel looks gorgeous as ever,” Jane Walentas, who restored the Idora Park carousel, said in an email. “The basement, however, that houses all the electronics was totally flooded [5 feet of water] and caused extensive damage to all the electronic controls.”

That will require a lot of time and resources to restore.

“But it looks like eventually it will be fine,” Walentas said. “We’ll do whatever it takes to have it up and running asap ... Be sure to tell everyone in Youngstown who loves the carousel that we’ll be back ready to give rides again!”

Walentas bought the 1922 Philadelphia Toboggan Co. model carousel in 1984 after it was damaged in a fire at the Youngstown amusement park.

She spent about 22 years restoring it.

The carousel opened to the public in September 2011 in its new home overlooking the East River at the edge of Brooklyn Bridge Park.


Power was knocked out to thousands of Mahoning Valley customers Monday evening as winds picked up, taking with them power lines and trees.

The most concentrated power outage may have been in the Cortland City-Bazetta Township area, where enough customers went without power to cancel school in the Lakeview School District for the day.

As of 10 a.m. Tuesday, power had been restored to most Trumbull County residents, but as many as 2,000 customers lost power at some point during the evening, especially around 1 a.m., said David Turner, area manager for First Energy.

As many as 2,500 customers lost power in Mahoning County, most of them from 8 p.m. to midnight. A large number of those were on Youngstown’s East Side, Turner said.

At 10 a.m. today, about 200 customers still were without power in Mahoning County, most of those in Austintown.

In Columbiana County, around 1,000 customers lost power, most of those in Hanover Township and Salem. As of 10 a.m. today, around 900 customers were still without power, Turner said.

The Trumbull County 911 dispatching center in Howland reported that there were tree limbs down in various areas, but the biggest tree problem occurred near the Bell-Wick bowling alley just west of the city of Hubbard.


Thirteen months after traveling to Suffolk County in New York to help with Hurricane Irene emergency efforts, Boardman’s fire chief is returning to the area for Sandy’s aftermath.

Chief George Brown was expected to leave Tuesday, but damage along roadways delayed his deployment through an Ohio Incident Management Team until today.

Suffolk County is home to the Hamptons and Long Island. Brown said the team, which is made up of members from all over Ohio, will support the county’s emergency operations center.

“They’ve been dealing with this since Saturday, so their batteries are running low and they’re looking for some assistance and not to have to carry the complete burden. Being that we’ve been there before, we will have some knowledge and know some of them personally from our last trip,” Brown said.

Dr. Alisa Roberts, the township’s volunteer medical director, also is being sent help with emergency efforts as part of a different state response team, Brown said.

“I’m thankful that the township allows me to participate in this, and this brings back additional knowledge to them should something occur here,” Brown said.

The township is reimbursed for Brown’s efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Austintown interim Fire Chief Andy Frost III said the local region of the Ohio Emergency Response System has been put on alert, but has not been activated.

The Emergency Response System is organized through the Ohio Fire Chiefs’ Association and the state fire marshal’s office. Frost is a local coordinator.

“Any fire department can request equipment and manpower from the Emergency Response System and that could be any chief in Ohio or across state lines. They may say, ‘I need five engines with four guys in that engine’ and at that point we coordinate that through the state,” Frost said.

Frost said he expected the alert to last three days and that if activated, the local region would most likely be called upon to help areas in Pennsylvania and New York.


The American Red Cross of the Mahoning Valley Tuesday helped establish a shelter in Mentor for people whose homes lost electrical power in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The local Red Cross office sent a supervisor to oversee the establishment of a shelter after receiving a call for help from the Cleveland Red Cross at about 11 a.m. Tuesday, said Karen Conklin, executive director of the Mahoning Valley Red Cross.

Conklin said the supervisor, in this case a paid professional, was deployed Tuesday morning and the shelter, most likely in a church, school or public building, was up and running in the two hours mandated by the Red Cross. The shelter ideally contains space to set up cots, bathrooms and possibly a kitchen so hot food can be provided, she said.

The local effort joins the national Red Cross which has set up safe shelters for thousands of people in numerous states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast driven from their homes.

As of Sunday, the Red Cross had mobilized more than 1,300 disaster workers and 160 response vehicles from around the country to the affected states, and shipped more than 230,000 ready-to-eat meals and snacks.

On Tuesday, the Red Cross was seeking 5,000 professionals and volunteers for mobilization to the impacted areas, Conklin said.

People who go to a shelter should bring essentials such as prescription medicine, identification and valuable papers, toiletries, a change of clothing, water and non-perishable food, and blankets and pillows and/or sleeping bags, Conklin said.


The Youngstown Salvation Army was not yet involved Tuesday in helping in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but stands ready should the request come from its headquarters, said the Rev. Major Elijah Kahn, local Salvation Army commander.

In disaster situations, the Salvation Army provides assistance with mass feeding and items such as blankets and cleaning supplies and whatever is needed.

“We also pray for the people impacted by the storm,” the Rev. Mr. Kahn said.


The Mahoning County Republican Party is collecting nonperishable food, paper products and toiletries for Superstorm Sandy relief at party headquarters, 621 Boardman-Canfield Road in Boardman.

Items can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 to 6 p.m. Sundays. To make a cash donation, visit the American Red Cross website at and clock on “donate.”

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