Ice removal long, difficult process

Crews work to break through layers of ice on the roads in Youngstown, Ohio.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Now that the snow and the freezing rain have stopped, the layer of ice left behind may become more of a problem as temperatures continue to hover around the freezing mark.

Landscaper Tony Billet and his workers have been busy around the clock the last few days trying to clear away the snow and ice from driveways and parking lots. Their plan of attack is to remove all the snow first and then hit the ice below.

“We will salt it down. We open our spreaders wide and crank the salt on it and then, hopefully, when it melts a little bit we go scrape it off some more. Then we go back and keep salting,” Billet said.

The icy build-up is also causing problems for local crews trying to clear the roads before the next batch of snow arrives. Mahoning County Engineer Pat Ginnetti said the ice is the hardest to treat.

“You’ve got black ice everywhere. Now, we have a thick layer of ice on the roads, and we are doing the best we can,” Ginnetti said.

While the engineer can add things like beet juice to the salt and slag it is little help to homeowners with driveways in the path of the plow.

“We’ve gotten several complaints about the slush and ice being left at the bottom of driveways, but we can’t plow driveways. We are there to plow the streets,” Ginnetti said.

Ginnetti said homeowners should try to go out right after the plow goes by to remove the snow and ice from the end of the drive, before it becomes compacted.

“Once it is frozen, it is there because they are plow breakers,” Billet said.

Billet said companies like his will be reluctant to risk expensive damage to their equipment to break through the snow and ice, leaving some residents waiting for the thaw.

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