PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The snow is falling and temperatures are dropping, which has prompted the City of Pittsburgh to enact emergency response protocols.

According to a press release from Mayor Bill Peduto’s office, Public Works crews, “have been activated for 24-hour shifts and began pre-salting roads last night in anticipation of the snow.”

“Several inches of snow and sub-freezing temperatures can turn into a serious situation, so we have activated the city’s winter weather emergency response protocol,” said Mayor Peduto.

Ahead of the severe cold, a nice blanket of snow hit the city just as the morning rush was starting.

The Parkway East crawled and even a PennDOT truck got stuck in the slow-moving traffic after an accident and a shutdown of the Squirrel Hill Tunnels for ice removal.

“Snow removal began at 6 a.m. this morning and will continue through most of the day,” Chief Operations Officer Guy Costa said.

With temperatures expected to dip into the single digits and reach a low of minus-1 degree tonight, the city has opened up five warming centers.

The locations are as follows:

  • Greenfield Healthy Acting Living Center, 745 Greenfield Ave. (412)-422-6551
  • Homewood Healthy Active Living Center, 7321Frankstown Ave. (412)-244-4190
  • North Side, Allegheny Center Healthy Active Living Center, Allegheny Square (412)-323-7239
  • Sheraden Healthy Active Living Center, 720 Sherwood Ave. (412)-777-5012
  • South Side Healthy Active Living Center, 12th and Bingham streets (412)-488-8404

Also, Allegheny Valley Hospital will open as a warming center on Monday, Jan. 27 and Tuesday, Jan. 28 available from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. on both nights. Those in need should report to the main entrance and security will escort them to the warming center.

The homeless shelter at the United Church of Christ on Smithfield Street will be open Tuesday and Wednesday.

Additionally, the city announced it will work with the Red Cross to provide shelter for residents who experience power or heat outages.

“Whenever there’s inclement weather, we’re always preparing ourselves for the possibility of opening a shelter,” Lauren Ashley of the American Red Cross said.

The cold affected Pittsburgh Public Schools a couple weeks ago, but Tuesday and Wednesday are in-service days. So, students already had classes cancelled.

Thursday, though, could be a different story with temperatures still expected to be dangerously cold.

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