Ashley Morgan dashed out into the North Hill cold Monday when her mom noticed a frail neighbor had fallen after getting his car stuck on their snow-clogged street.

It was about 10 degrees.

“He was screaming, ‘Help me! Help me!’ … he had twisted his ankle and was ice cold,” Morgan recalled Tuesday.

Morgan and her girlfriend lifted the man back into his car and swaddled him with blankets until an ambulance arrived, first getting stuck in the snow at the corner and then again on Hollibaugh Avenue before it could whisk away the man for help.

“I don't care about us getting off (the snow-covered street) — we'll get out — but they had a life in back of the ambulance,” Morgan said. “Akron needs to do a better job clearing its roads.”

By Tuesday morning, Akron snowplows had only reached about 30 percent of its residential streets and even some of its main roads — including parts of Market and Exchange streets — remained snow-covered and icy.

People who live in the city and commute there vented anger and frustration online, wondering how smaller cities and towns surrounding Akron had mostly cleared their streets and roads, while much of Akron remained buried under a foot or more of snow that a storm left behind Saturday and Sunday.

Much of the answer lies in a deal the city made with the Ohio Department of Transportation more than two decades ago, Akron Chief of Staff James Hardy said Tuesday.

The state pays Akron about $1.6 million each year to maintain portions of Interstates 76/77 and 224 that run through the city limits. State Route 8 is not part of the agreement.

For that money, the city of Akron is not only supposed to keep the freeways clear of snow and ice, but also patch the potholes.

Several cities across Ohio once had similar deals with ODOT years ago because leaders thought they could do better than the state, an ODOT spokesman said Tuesday. But Akron may be the only city still remaining after Dayton's contract with ODOT ended last year.

Hardy said Akron spends much of the $1.6 million it receives annually from ODOT to care for the roads, but the money also supplements city services like leaf collection.

Most winters, the city can handle the burden of plowing both the freeways and its own streets, he said. But last weekend, he said, Akron had more snow than it has seen in a decade.

Akron plow drivers spent the first two days clearing the city's major roads and the freeways under the city's contract with ODOT before they could turn to side streets and secondary roads, Hardy said.

Plow drivers have been working 12- to 16-hour shifts since Saturday, he said. They worked over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, when the city was closed. And some drivers have come in to plow even when they’re sick.

Yet by noon Tuesday, only about 60 percent of the city’s streets had been plowed.

“The Main focus now completing ALL residential streets,” the city said on its Facebook page.

The city, Hardy said, plows all its streets whenever Akron gets 5 inches or more of snow. With lesser amounts of snowfall, residents must call 311 to request their street be plowed.

The Beacon Journal on Tuesday was overwhelmed with stories from people who were upset by the snow on city streets.

A Kenmore woman who spent the weekend in Cleveland Clinic Akron General being treated for dehydration related to her chemotherapy said she was released Sunday and couldn’t make it to her driveway.

We “ended up a block away where I had to walk in my PJs and slippers through a foot of snow home,” she told the Beacon in an email. “And here it is Tuesday and we STILL can't get our car down our road.”

In Ellet, another woman said her car became mired in the snow on her street Monday as she was trying to get to work.

A neighbor and a stranger pushed her car back into her drive and if a friend with an all-wheel drive vehicle wouldn’t have picked her up for work at a home building company in Green, she would have had to call off Monday and Tuesday.

Another woman in Kenmore said she was fired from her manager job at a pizza restaurant when she was unable to get to work.

The man who fell on his North Hill street is back home recovering from hypothermia, said the woman who helped him. But he and the ambulance only made it off the street after two more Good Samaritans came to the rescue.

Brandon Tournoux and Brian James — who spent several hours Monday volunteering to help stranded people on Akron side streets — said they saw a call for help on a Facebook page dedicated to North Hill.

The men used James’ Dodge Ram with 37-inch wheels to tow the snowbound ambulance on Hollibaugh Avenue more than a block to a larger street that had been plowed.

"People kept trying to give us money, but we wouldn't take it," Tournoux said. "We were just trying to help."

Akron officials Tuesday acknowledged the criticism hurled at them on Facebook and Twitter over the city's unplowed and messy streets.

The city’s 311 line also fielded more than 1,100 calls on Monday. On Tuesday afternoon, the online portion of the system went down, and it was unclear when it would return.

Hardy said city officials hope to have 100 percent of Akron’s streets cleared of snow on Thursday.

Once the cleanup is over, Hardy said, officials will reassess their game plan for future snow storms.

Among other things, Hardy said, city plows are equipped with GPS systems that allow officials to see where they are. Hardy said the city would consider opening that live information to the public.

They’ll also discuss hiring plow contractors to help during extraordinary snowfalls.

But, Hardy said, that’s extremely expensive. And because most drivers use only pickup trucks, the city’s big plows would still need to clean up behind them. For now, Akron — including its officials — continue to muddle through.

On Tuesday morning, city spokeswoman Ellen Lander Nischt said she made it off of her Northwest Akron Street but ran into trouble about 8 a.m. on West Market Street near Our Lady of the Elms.

There, a small sedan was stuck on a patch of ice. When she got out of her car to help, she slipped and fell on her behind.

She wasn’t hurt. But rather than risk running into other street problems in the three miles of city streets that still lay between her and city hall, Lander Nischt said she headed for I-77.

Lander Nischt, knowing about the city’s longstanding deal with ODOT, knew the freeway was certain to be clear.

Amanda Garrett can be reached at 330-996-3725 or agarrett@thebeaconjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter @agarrettABJ.