PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As the snow came down, the roads got progressively worse today. It got so bad that traffic came to a near standstill on the Parkway West.
The storm arrived right on schedule and created whiteout conditions throughout the late morning hours.
“It’s Pittsburgh, it’s winter – what can you expect? It’s been mild so far, so can’t complain,” said Shawn Mattox, of Wilkinsburg.
Easily said, unless you were behind the wheel and stuck in the gridlock that resulted from cars and trucks simply not able to handle our regions hills.
While the full complement of trucks were out there, many were stuck in the very traffic they were trying to help. And going nowhere fast was the rule of the day.
“It’s horrible. I haven’t seen the roads this bad driving in a while,” said Milan Belohlavek, of Green Tree. “This is one of the worst.”
The accidents were numerous, and in some places, drivers found the roads incredibly challenging despite the efforts of salt crews that were able to get through – only to have their efforts immediately covered by the fast falling snow.
“So, we’ll keep re-treating the streets and running the routes until the snow stops and we get everything open,” said Rob Kaczorowski, the director of Pittsburgh Public Works.
The situation got so bad that some roads as well as the Homestead Grays Bridge were closed for safety reasons while still the snow barrage continued.
Meanwhile, the Port Authority reports it is experiencing delays because of the weather. Some buses are facing delays of 60 to 90 minutes, but most areas are still being served.
There are no issues reported on the T.
Meanwhile, conditions weren’t much better in Westmoreland County.
The sign on Route 66 warned something was coming.
A turnpike-commissioned truck was parked on the side of the road ready for action, but at that time the roads were still clear. However, one hour later a relentless storm dumped snow on streets and sidewalks bringing traffic to a crawl on Route 30.
“Route 30 is backed up, back roads are jammed, all the roads are slick,” said Kevin Hawes, a commuter. “Everybody is sliding.”
The storm caught Elizabeth Garstecki by surprise when she left Walmart.
“Now we have a lot of snow here and I wish I was at home,” Garstecki said.
Steve DeRosa figured he will have to shovel the sidewalk outside of the train station about a half dozen times.
“Gotta keep on it,” he said. “If we don’t, people come in and out of here all the time; so if you don’t, you could have an accident – somebody could fall down. It’s just something we keep up all year round. I mean, we gotta do that.”
Meanwhile, Hempfield Township road crews have a much bigger task. At least 30 trucks are responsible for salting and plowing 300 miles of snow-covered roads.
“Winter is upon us. The first couple snows, the people aren’t used to driving in the snow,” said Mike Volpe, of Hempfield Township Public Works. “Their driving habits have to change; but…. hopefully the public will slow down and deal with the conditions.”