Winter weather means work for some

Published 3:20 am Friday, January 23, 2004

By By JAMES COLLINS / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Snow and ice storms can cause schools to be cancelled and discourage people from leaving their homes, but for City of Niles employee Delbert Cooper, winter weather means it is time to go to work.
Cooper, who has worked for the city for nearly 35 years, is responsible for driving one of the city's snow plows.
Cooper and his fellow employees are on call 24 hours a day.
He said the city has 13 employees who are responsible for snow removal. There are seven snow plows and three salt trucks.
The City of Niles is responsible for the roads between Oak Street and Lake Street and between 17th Street and Front Street.
Cooper said they concentrate on plowing the main roads and highways within the city first and then move on to the side streets. The salt trucks only operate on the main roads.
The snow plows typically work in teams of two. The first truck clears the road and pushes the snow off to the side. The second truck follows behind and pushes that snow completely off of the road.
He said 1999 and 1978 were the most memorable winters.
Like many people, Cooper doesn't take much stock in the weather forecasts.
Earlier this week when our area received a winter weather advisory predicting six to 10 inches of snow, his department spent extra time preparing for a long day.
He said it is important to stay on top of things and keep as much snow off of the streets as they can.
The large trucks used for plowing snow are equipped to handle the driving condition of snowy roads, but ice is another story.