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Storm Prep

Conditions are expected to change as the storm approaches.

Penndot has already implemented vehicle restrictions along major roadways.

Douglas Braff has more about those restrictions and how the storm could impact electricity.

Douglas talked with a Penndot spokesperson about those restriction and to an official from West Penn Power about how the storm will impact electricity.

Yes, these vehicle restrictions began earlier today but have since expanded. Much of what happens next will depend on temperature, rainfall, and how long the storm moves through our region.

At noon today tier one vehicle restrictions came into effect on Interstate 80 from the Ohio border to Interstate 99. And just at Six o’clock Penndot applied this restriction to the whole of I-80 in Pennsylvania.

The same vehicle restrictions were implemented along all of Interstate 99.

Annin says this is a slow-moving storm which gave penndot time to prepare for the conditions that it will bring.

“We’ve seen the kinds of weather that it has brought across the Midwest. So, we know what to expect. But the ice, in particular, the rain, the cold, the freezing, and then followed by snow is certainly challenging. And so,
we’ve been planning for a few days now, as far as making sure we’ve got equipment, material, manpower”

“We’re pretreating where we can…where we’ll be salting, where it makes sense to do so. And as snow develops, we will be plowing as much as possible.”

“We cannot guarantee that they’re gonna encounter bare roads. Our mission and our goal is to provide safe and passable roadways.”

Regarding how long they expect restrictions to stay in place, she says it depends on how the weather moves through our region.

If you don’t need to travel, don’t do so. If you must travel, give yourself extra time, check 511 [PA], and buckle up.”

If you do plan to drive fannin also urges you to give yourself plenty of following distance between you and other vehicles and to be careful, when passing snowplows.

And with all the fog blanketing the roads some drivers might be inclined to turn on their high beams.

“Generally, from a courtesy standpoint, high beams obviously, you don’t wanna be throwing your high beams in the opposing driver’s face. If you’re on a separated, four-lane such as Interstate 80 and you’re able to use your high
beams safely, and that helps you, that’s a driver’s decision.”

But roadways are not the only infrastructure affected by ice what about electricity?

“With the roads being bad, that’s gonna hamper our restoration efforts.”

Westpenn Power spokesperson Todd Meyers tells me that any possible power issues may continue after the storm has left the region.

“Whatever falls, whatever you get in your area, it’s not gonna melt tomorrow. It’s not gonna melt over the weekend. It’s gonna be very cold. So, if a tree is encased in ice, or a line is encased in ice, it may not fail right away,
but 12 hours later it might finally reach its breaking point. So, we could see additional outages, even after the weather has sort of moved away and beyond.”

Again for live traffic updates, please check out 511 Pa. And for power issues, call the number on your screen.

(1-888-Lightss [with two s’s)

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