PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When an impending weather event prompts major scheduling changes, extra manpower and a state-wide conference call, you know they’re taking it seriously.
“They” are PennDOT and municipal road crews all over the region.
KDKA’s Kym Gable Reports:
Tuesday evening, they were shoring up supplies and readying equipment for a potentially complex and unpredictable weather system that was expected to include snow, rain and freezing rain.
“We’re prepared,” said Pittsburgh Operations Manager Guy Costa. “Out there spreading materials, have the proper equipment out there, but again, we want to remind folks it’s going to be a very difficult commute [Wednesday] morning.”
Jazon Zang, from PennDOT, said, “The most concerning part, it’s going to be changing to sleet and freezing rain around rush hour [Wednesday] morning, so as much as we try our very best to give our customers wet roads as much as possible, it may not be realistic to expect that [Wednesday].”
In Butler County earlier in the day, snow could be seen on Route 19 in Cranberry Township. It made for a slushy Tuesday commute for drivers.
PennDOT crews spent the morning salting Route 19 and streets across the county.
“This was a rather easy storm to handle,” said Mike Mattis, manager for PennDOT’s District 10 office. “It came in…a coating to an inch fell, with a little bit more snow up north. We had guys out to treat the roadways. The commute for the traveling public was pretty easy today. However, the storm tomorrow is going to be more difficult.”
KDKA’s Lisa Washington Reports:
Mattis said Wednesday’s expected snowfall of a few inches, will require more work. All of Butler County’s 42 PennDOT trucks will be on the roads focusing first on the primary roads, including Interstate 79, then the secondary highways and streets.
“They’re calling for anywhere from 3 to 6 inches,” Mattis told KDKA’s Lisa Washington, “and it’s gonna hit Butler County around 5 or 6 in the morning. We’ll have all of our crews out prior to the storm. We’ll have our trucks loaded and ready to go. We have plenty of material and our equipment and our guys.”
The only help they’ll need says Mattis, is for drivers to be aware of the trucks on the road.
“If we are plowing, please don’t try to pass,” Mattis said. He encourages drivers to, “Stay back and give the plows room to do their jobs.”
PennDOT crews in Butler County are scheduled to begin working at 4 a.m. Wednesday, but they may start earlier, depending on when the storm begins.