Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Area Digs out from First Big Snowfall

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Area Digs out from First Big Snowfall

Article excerpt

While Western Pennsylvanians were digging their way out from under Wednesday's snowstorm, forecasters were preparing for more of the white stuff to arrive late Friday or early Saturday.

Meteorologists with the National Weather Service in Moon are predicting that another storm that also formed in the South will enter the region around midnight Friday and produce 1 to 3 inches of new snow before the end of Saturday, when memories of Wednesday's snowfall will likely still be fresh.

Trained spotters told the weather service they recorded 8.5 inches of snow in Indiana, Pa., 7 inches near Punxsutawney, 5 inches in West View and 4 inches on Mount Washington.

Forecasters were calling for snow and freezing rain overnight and today, with an additional 1 to 2 inches of snow expected to accumulate along the Interstate 80 corridor and less than an inch expected elsewhere.

Weather service meteorologist Lee Hendricks said the storm was "nothing out of the ordinary, pretty much a standard storm" but was troublesome nonetheless.

Nonessential Allegheny County and state employees were sent home early after the quick snow accumulation turned the parkways, the Pennsylvania Turnpike and many other roads into a melange of crashes, stuck vehicles and stopped traffic.

The wet, heavy snow turned to hardened slush when driven or walked upon, making streets and sidewalks treacherous. Salt trucks and plows became mired in traffic, unable to make their rounds.

Pittsburgh Public Works director Rob Kaczorowski said his team had 50 pieces of equipment salting and plowing roads. And PennDOT trucks worked in tandem on Interstate 79 southbound.

PennDOT pre-treated interstates in Allegheny County and Route 28, and had 65 of its own trucks and 15 rented trucks treating roadways, spokesman Steve Cowan said.

"In storms of this nature, the goal is to keep the roadways passable -- not completely free of snow and ice," he said. "When it's coming down that quickly, it's near impossible to keep it free of snow and ice."

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl spent part of the day working from home and part of the time riding around city streets to inspect conditions, spokeswoman Joanna Doven said. …

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