MEDINA — Wanna build a snowman?

Turns out a few hardy souls did on Monday — that is, until they were frozen and flaked out.

About two dozen folks answered the call for a Snowman Flash Mob on Medina's historic square.

The setting seemed perfect.

A foot or so of snow and a light flurry.

But with temperatures in the single digits and snow that packed like powdered sugar, rolling the perfect snowman just wasn't in the cards.

Instead, the snow angels had to settle on making snowman mounds.

Becky Warner of Montville Township brought along bagels for eyes and celery for a nose so critters and birds can enjoy a snack once Frosty Frank melts.

Warner admitted it was a challenge braving the elements on a day that began with wind chills well below zero.

"We all had cabin fever," she said pointing to her son Gage, 5, playing in the snow. "We needed to get out of the house."

The winter adventure ended about as soon as it started for Brittany Brooks of Medina and her daughter, Savanna, a fourth-grader at Ella Canavan.

The two early arrivers tried to sculpt a snowman, but quickly realized that this weekend's snowfall — while impressive in its depth — just wasn't packable.

"The flash mob looks like a flash us," Brittany said. "It is just too fluffy."

The pair retreated into Cool Beans — the event's sponsor — for some hot chocolate and treats.

Owner Laura Parnell-Cavey said this is the second time they have organized a Snowman Flash Mob on the square, but this one was the coldest.

"We had a ton of snow, just not the right snow," she said. "We'll do another one when the snow is just right."

Many residents and cities spent Monday digging out from the weekend storm that dumped upward of a foot of snow across the region.

Akron asked its residents to be patient as crews worked around the clock to plow residential streets in the city.

With bitterly cold temperatures sticking around for another day and many streets still awaiting snowplows, Akron Public Schools called off classes and after-school activities for Tuesday shortly after 4 p.m. Monday.

A wind chill advisory is in effect for Akron, Medina, Wooster and elsewhere in Northeast Ohio from 7 p.m. Monday to 9 a.m. Tuesday.

Wind chills as low as 15 below zero are expected and could cause hypothermia if people do not dress appropriately, according to the National Weather Service.

The weather service canceled its local winter storm warning Monday morning.

Tuesday is expected to be mostly cloudy with a high of 31 degrees. There will be a slight chance of a wintry mix in the evening followed by rain and snow.

Wednesday is expected to have a high of 43 degrees.

Snow and cold temperatures in the teens are expected by the weekend.

Monday's chill in the air was too much for even the Akron Zoo — home to cold-weather loving animals like the penguins and even snow leopards.

The zoo announced early Monday morning that it would be closed for the day because of the inclement weather. It had planned to mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day with free admission and activities.

The zoo plans to reopen Tuesday.

The snow has made driving hazardous on local roads and highways, with numerous accidents and slowdowns reported Monday morning in and around Akron.

In one of the more serious incidents, a tractor-trailer jackknifed just before 10 a.m. on state Route 8 at Graham Road.

The crash closed Route 8 south between Steels Corners Road and Graham Road, bringing traffic to a standstill until the road was cleared in the early afternoon.

Crews had to remove diesel fuel and other debris from the busy thoroughfare.

 

Staff writer Jim Mackinnon contributed to this report.