With harsh cold and snow forecast for much of the state in the next few days, officials in Ohio’s Department of Aging are urging precautions for older people who could be at increased risk of weather-related problems.
Mansfield cleans up after flooding
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Mansfield is one of many Ohio communities cleaning up after record breaking flooding. The downtown area received the most damage. Local businesses including the city’s main post office continue the recovery Thursday.
Contracted workers mop and squeegee a hallway inside Mansfield’s main post office. The main branch is located on North Diamond Street in downtown – the hardest hit area. About a foot of water flooded the building. But the mail vans, about 75 of them, were in even deeper water.
“They were up to the windows on the doors. There was some in the garages that was probably up to four or five feet on the doors,” Post Master Randy Ballard said.
Ballard said workers are getting the vehicles back into service, but he’s not sure how many can be saved.
“They’re still trying to fix the vehicles. I’m sure there will be some that won’t be able to be salvaged,” he said.
Ballard said the mail is being delivered. But it’s being processed at other locations. He hopes main branch workers can be back in the building at the start of next week, but that’s uncertain.
“We’re hoping to get our delivery unit back here on Monday. But to process mail will probably be another week, probably seven to ten days. And I don’t know that for sure until we really get a chance to see how badly the machines got hit,” Ballard said.
All postal employees are able to work – just at other locations.
Paul Fedorovich works with Taylor Landscaping. The company, out of the Akron area, was called to clean up the post office.
Fedorovich described one of the specially equipped bob cat tractors his co-worker uses to sweep up dried mud.
“It’s kind of like a vacuum. But, the bristles push all the dirt and dust inside, there’s a little bucket behind the vacuum,” Fedorovich said. Fedorovich said the post office clean up is an unusual job for him. He’s used to landscaping and construction restoration.
“We’ve had a couple of other jobs like this, but the floods were not this bad at all. Not even close,” Fedorovich said.
Just across the street from the post office is Code Blue Roofing. Nick Brown is an estimator at the roofing company. The business is about 300 feet from the post office, it got even more water.
“Water was about eight foot up. You couldn’t really see there was a water line you can see. You couldn’t access it. There was dumpsters floating around, telephone poles floating around. It was just a mess. We had a one ton truck in here that was completely submerged. I mean it was over the top of everything,” Brown said.
Unlike the post office, Code Blue Roofing workers are doing all the clean up themselves. They’ve been at it since Wednesday and they’re not close to being finished, and Brown is beginning to get a little frustrated.
“A never ending process. It just won’t stop. You get a little bit out, and there’s just a little bit more. And it’s going to take a long time,” Brown said.