Prepare for Winter Storm Elliott Dec. 22-24

The U.S. Weather Service has issued a winter storm WARNING for our area. This is what forecasters expect for Northeast Ohio from Thursday evening through Saturday:

  • Strong winds with gusts up to 60 mph
  • Wind chills as low as -25 degrees
  • Possible flash freeze as temps drop sharply
  • Power outages
  • Accumulating snow

Travel may be difficult, especially Friday. The weather service has not yet predicted a snow fall total but estimates range from a few inches to as much as six or more.

Please stay safe. The following tips may help you be better prepared.

Get ready

Charge cell phones, computers and other devices.

Locate flashlights, batteries.

Stock up on necessities – medications, nonperishable food, bottled water.

Reporting emergencies

Life threatening emergencies, including electrical contact or entrapment, should be reported directly to 911. Dispatchers are trained to assess these situations.

Reporting a power outage at your home or business (source: Ohio Edison)
If you lose power, contact Ohio Edison (not the police department):

  • Call Outage Reporting Line at 1-888-LIGHTSS (1-888-544-4877)
  • Visit from your desktop computer, laptop or mobile device
  • Text OUT to 544487 (LIGHTS)

Customers with a communications disability can contact the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) at 711 to report an outage. This service is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Life and limb emergencies, such as an electrical contact or entrapment, should be reported directly to 911. Dispatchers are trained to assess the situation and contact Ohio Edison to respond.

Avoid possible carbon monoxide poisoning

Never operate a generator or gas grill inside your home or near a window.

Never heat your home with a gas stovetop or oven. (source:

Food safety

Keep fridge and freezer doors shut.

If power is out more than a few hours, you can move perishable food to coolers in unheated garages or outside to keep cold or frozen.

Preventing frozen pipes

Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.

Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate around the plumbing. Be sure to move any harmful cleaners and household chemicals up out of the reach of children.

When the weather is very cold outside, let cold water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes. Running water through the pipe – even at a trickle – helps prevent pipes from freezing. (source: American Red Cross).

Should residents experience frozen water lines as evidenced by a slow drip or no water coming from faucets, they should call the city water dept at 440-949-6259 during regular business hours through Thursday, Dec. 22. After that, they should phone the police department non emergency number at 440-949-7131 to report their issue. (City Hall is closed Dec. 23-26.) According to Service Director Pat Hastings, the source of frozen waterlines often is at the outdoor meter pit location. The city has equipment to thaw the line in order to restore water to the residence.

Stay inside if possible

If you must go out, let someone know your destination, route, and expected time of arrival.

Cover yourself so no skin is exposed. Stay dry. If you lose feeling and color in your nose, ears, hands, or feet, cover the exposed area, avoid rubbing your skin, and seek medical help immediately. You may have hypothermia or frostbite.

When shoveling snow, take breaks and lift lighter loads. Overexertion can lead to heart attacks.

Keep pets indoors

Household pets should be brought back inside as soon as they have relieved themselves. They also experience hypothermia and frostbite – even those with thicker coats.

Snow Parking Ban

When snow is 2 inches or deeper, parking is prohibited on all streets throughout the city. This ban remains in effect until the snow stops and streets have been cleared. Note that the predicted severity of this storm may require multiple plowings of each street.

Fire Hydrants

SLFD requests that homeowners make every effort to avoid covering a nearby hydrant when plowing their driveways or sidewalks. In the event the department is called and needs to locate the hydrant, their job will be made faster and safer for all.