Alliance man clears city sidewalks after heavy snowfall

·3 min read
Dom Black clears a path on a sidewalk near Family Dollar in Alliance after heavy snowfall blanketed the area.
Dom Black clears a path on a sidewalk near Family Dollar in Alliance after heavy snowfall blanketed the area.

ALLIANCE – After recent bouts of winter weather buried the city's sidewalks under heaps of snow and ice, 28-year-old Dom Black decided to take action.

"When I was out working, I noticed that people were walking on really busy streets," he said. "I saw a woman with a stroller walking under the bridge on Union, and that's what made me say 'You know what? I'm going to go ahead and do this.'"

The Alliance native – who owns a property maintenance and landscaping business in the Carnation City – revved up his snow blower and braved the chilly temperatures to clear the sidewalks on several high-traffic roads, including Union, Liberty and Wright avenues.

Above average levels of snowfall have hit Northeast Ohio over the last couple of weeks, and the low temperatures have kept it from melting. With sidewalks covered in snow, many have been forced to walk in roadways.

Black grew up walking to school and recalled wishing someone would clear the sidewalks. Now that he has the means to help, he felt it was important to give people clear and safe paths to walk.

"A lot of people care, but a lot of people maybe aren't physically able or they just don't have the equipment. Because you just can't shovel this stuff at this point after the plows plowed the slush onto the sidewalk, and now it's frozen," he said.

Last week, Black started going out to remove the snow. He's focused on clearing sidewalks near Alliance High School, he said, because he knows a lot of students walk in the area.

Removing snow from long streets like Union has taken him as long as an entire day, he said. And, as temperatures have dipped, the process has become more difficult. Black purchased a pick-ax to help remove the ice so he's able to get his snowblower through the mounds of snow.

Dom Black clears snow on a sidewalk in Alliance after heavy snowfall.
Dom Black clears snow on a sidewalk in Alliance after heavy snowfall.

Black posted about the effort on Facebook, where he was met with an overwhelming amount of support. Several people and businesses offered to donate money to help pay for gas for Black's snowblower and thanked him for his generosity.

"Way to go Dom Black!! Don't just talk the talk but walk the walk!! We could use a few more of you," one Facebook user wrote.

"I smiled looking at all the cleared sidewalks today," another user wrote. "You are much appreciated! I would most definitely help if I had a snow blower! Thank you for what you're doing."

Black has been amazed by the kind words he's received from members of the community. It means a lot to him, he said, knowing that people appreciate his work.

"It brought me to tears," he said.

He doesn't have a plan for what street he will work on next, but he hopes his efforts will encourage others in the community to join him in clearing the sidewalks.

"I heard a quote that said, 'You know, you care for people, they care about you. If you solve a problem, then people will love you,'" he said. "So I'm just trying to be what we need."

Reach Paige at 330-580-8577 or pmbennett@gannett.com, or on Twitter at @paigembenn.

This article originally appeared on The Repository: Alliance man clears sidewalks after heavy snowfall

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