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Mayor Healy declares emergency due to weather conditions
By Bethany Chamberlin
Released/Published: Feb 2, 2011

CANTON, Ohio — 

At 2:30 a.m. this morning, Mayor William J. Healy II declared a state of emergency in the City of Canton, Ohio.  Director of Public Service Warren Price is coordinating the city’s response to the incident from Canton City Hall, which is serving as the city’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC).  The EOC began centralized operations via the Service Director’s office at approximately midnight.  The EOC formally began operations pursuant to the city’s Disaster Preparedness Plan at approximately 2:00 a.m. in anticipation of the declaration of an emergency.

As of 4:30 AM, much of the City of Canton was without power, including multiple city facilities.  At least two fire stations are operating on backup generators and the Canton City Service Center located on 30th Street, normally the hub of operations for the Office of Public Service, is without power or telephone service.  City safety forces and public service crews are responding to calls as quickly as possible, however weather conditions coupled with the overwhelming number of downed power lines and trees make navigating the city difficult and treacherous.   

Street conditions throughout the city remain poor, with heavy ice and standing water on most roadways.  Traffic signal devices throughout the city may not be functioning due to wide spread power outages.  Motorists should stay off city streets.  Dozens of downed power lines, trees, and fallen branches have been located throughout the city.  MANY DOWNED POWER LINES, TREES AND FALLEN BRANCHES HAVE NOT YET BEEN IDENTIFIED.  RESIDENTS SHOULD STAY CLEAR OF TREES AND POWER LINES. 

An emergency shelter has been established at the Canton Memorial Civic Center in coordination with the Red Cross.  Residents in need of shelter due to power outages can contact the Stark Red Cross at 330-453-0146 extension 7 or go to the McKinley Room Entrance of the Civic Center for assistance.  Personnel are standing by to assist residents in need, and food and water will be provided.  Free transportation to the shelter can be arranged through SARTA by calling 330-477-2782 (330-47-SARTA). 

Fallen trees, branches, and other hazardous road conditions can be reported via the 911 system if the conditions pose an emergency or to the Emergency Operations Center at 330-438-4307.  As of 4:50 a.m. the Street Department telephones were still not operating.  Street Department Administrative staff will be operating out of City Hall facility until power is restored to the Service Center.

Except for the Police Department, Canton City Hall is closed to the public until further notice, as residents should avoid travel on City streets.  The Canton Municipal Court and Clerk of Court’s Office are also closed.  The Arthur J. Cirelli Utility Billing Office is closed to the public.  Sanitation service in the City is suspended until further notice.  The EOC will report other closings and cancellations as they become available.  

The Emergency Operations Center will continue to provide information to the public and media as additional information becomes available. 

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