(WJW) — As a powerful winter storm pounded Northeast Ohio with snow and high winds, only the heartiest of souls, like Rebecca Smith of Mayfield Heights, ventured outside to clear their driveways and sidewalks.

“I mean with all the wind blowing, it’s hard to keep up with. But I mean, I wanted to make sure it was safe for all of our delivery folks,” said Smith. “You know, presents are still coming for the holidays and I want to make sure I make it as easy as I can. They’re out here doing some really hard work on a really cold day.”

The strong winds knocked out power to homes scattered across the region.

“You know, I’m a child of the winter of ‘78, so this isn’t as horrible as then, but without power, it’s definitely bad,” said Michele Carson of Olmsted Falls.

In fact, Carson had good reason to be relieved that a FirstEnergy crew had her neighborhood next on their list of places to make repairs.

“I have a grandson who has a heart condition, so yes, I am relieved. Until the power is back on, we’re just trying to keep him warm and keep him stable,” she said.

On Friday, FirstEnergy crews were working around the clock to try and restore power as quickly as they can, but the wind is their No. 1 enemy.

“Sustained high winds have caused pretty significant damage,” FirstEnergy spokesperson Lauren Siburkis told FOX 8. “A lot of it is tree-related damage to our equipment, but also we’re seeing a lot of poles that are completely snapped in half. These are very, very strong wind gusts and we’re not really getting much of a break from the wind speeds.”

The wind gusts are so strong that the crews cannot use their cranes and buckets to make repairs. They are doing the best they can from the ground level to keep to keep up with the outages, but FirstEnergy said customers will need to be patient.

“They are, in many cases, making repairs as much as they can. They’re clearing hazards from the roads, such as downed power lines and trees, so that once the wind speeds are no longer above 40 mph, we can go up in the bucket trucks and completely make all of the repairs,” said Siburkis.

Back in Mayfield Heights, Rebecca Smith was just trying to get her dog Zuko to go outside, but he wanted no part of the storm.

“I mean our pup really doesn’t like the cold or the wet, so we just try to keep him out as short of a time as possible — putting him in his little booties and his jacket — and do the best we can. But it’s definitely too cold for him to do anything out here,” she said with a chuckle.