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Many Hit The Road, Some Hit The Slopes, Others Digging Out This Thanksgiving

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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Happy Thanksgiving!

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The straggling lines of snow squalls continued throughout the day, painting the landscape white and adding to the six to nine inches of snow that settled on the areas north of Pittsburgh like a wet down comforter and encasing cars.

Tom Damon, of Union Township, thought his area was going to be spared.

“It’s worse looking at that radar yesterday,” said Damon. “I thought it was going to be a little easier than this, but it wasn’t.”

“It just kept coming all night, got about seven or eight inches last night,” added Jennifer Matyasovsky, of Pulaski Township. “And it was the heavy snow, a lot of fun to play in, but not to drive in.”

KDKA’s John Shumway Reports:

Crews were out working on the roads, driveways and parking lots all night, and by morning, treading was much improved.

The snow was so heavy it settled on trees and encrusted power lines, which sagged under the weight giving the folks from Penn Power plenty to do the day before Thanksgiving.

“A lot of snow, and the ground was so wet from the previous snow that the snow came down and brought trees down, which ultimately brings the lines down,” said Rodney Kniess, of Penn Power.

Amber Tubbs and Tabein Napier, both of New Catle, became entrepreneurs for the day, first tackling a neighbor’s sidewalk.

Napier: “She had like two sets of steps.”

KDKA’s John Shumway: “Was it worthwhile?”

Napier: “Yeah.”

Shumway: “How much did you make for that?”

Napier: “$10.”

But they found clearing cars a bit easier.

Shumway: “Why are you doing this?”

Tubbs: “To make money so I can go Christmas shopping.”

Shumway: “So how much can you get for a car?”

Tubbs: “I made $5, but all together I made $25 today.”

Meanwhile, it was a steady stream of traffic all day on the Pennsylvania Turnpike through Donegal, and according to the travelers KDKA spoke with, their trip brought steady streams of all kinds of weather.

KDKA’s Harold Hayes Reports:

Chris Smith, of Philadelphia, is traveling with his family to Wheeling, W. Va.

“It’s tough. It keeps switching from water to rain to sleet and ice, and we had a couple of times where it’s been a little tough for us,” said Smith. “We’ve been driving about 40 miles an hour at times, down to 20.”

Some faced bigger challenges at the end of their trip.

“There’s been some sleet and it seems it’s been a kind of winter’s mix,” said Drew Anderson, another holiday traveler. “It’s been a little sketchy here and there, but everyone seems to be traveling safely and it’s been pretty easy so far.”

KDKA’s Harold Hayes: “But you know going to Mercer, we have something for you up there. You heard about that?”

Anderson: “I did hear about that. We heard there was nine inches of snow where we’re headed.”

But for the most part, the Turnpike itself is drivable.

The Turnpike Commission says because this weekend is the one most drivers use it, expect delays at some interchanges and roads just off the interchange.

They expect 198,000 exits at the mid-county interchange this weekend near the northeast extension in eastern Pennsylvania, 146,000 at Valley Forge near Philadelphia, 89,000 at Monroeville, 68,000 at Breezewood.

“Many times, we have no problem getting people through our interchanges, but the local road systems back up,” said Tom Fox, of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. “You can imagine sometimes when you’re coming off our system, trying to get on 22, how it backs up into our interchanges.”

And whether you got a lot or a little, Seven Springs has snow and it couldn’t have come at a better time.

With brand new equipment, the Sirianni boys are ready to hit the hill.

KDKA’s Ross Guidotti: “What are the plans for the holiday weekend?”

Vinni Sirianni: “To go skiing.”

Guidotti: “How experienced of a skier?”

Dominic Sirianni: “This is my first year.”

KDKA’s Ross Guidotti Reports:

Another big first, Seven Springs and Hidden Valley – once rivals – are now one.

Long rumored, Sevens Springs, finally acquired Hidden Valley this year. Come Friday they will open for business.

“We are opening at Friday at 9 a.m. We are so prepared that we have more snow than we know what to do with,” said Moser. “The amount of snow we’ve made because of the temperatures has been phenomenal. We’re going to have at least nine trails and slopes at both resorts, and at least two lifts at both resorts.

While they are owned by the same group, management emphasizes the unique character of both resorts.

Hidden Valley is smaller with more gentle terrain. Seven Springs is bigger and bolder.

But if you’re ski appetite requires both, there’s an option.

“One is the Highlands Ticket,” said Moser. “It is a ticket you buy for the weekend at either resort and you can ski at either place or both places in one day. Unlimited. We also have the Highlands Pass where you can ski any resort any day of the week; there’s no limits here.”

If you head for the mountains, the slopes will be open from 9 to 5 starting Friday.

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