PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The mechanics were tweaking PennDOT’s trucks Monday, getting loads of salt ready and attaching plows.

“We won’t pretreat, there’s a lot of residual salt on the roads right now, if you see the roads they are all white so we don’t need to pretreat, just getting our plows on the trucks,” said Angelo Pampena with PennDOT.

READ MORE: Pittsburgh Weather: Cold Tuesday Temperatures

A mild December means an abundance of supplies on hand for the roads crew and private contractors alike.

PennDOT employees say they are accustomed to questions and criticisms from the public.
KDKA’s Kym Gable caught up with crews as they prepped a fleet of plows for the midnight shift.

She asked foreman Joe Palumbo, “There are a lot of things that scientifically can’t be done, right?”

“I was just going to say, there’s a lot of the science people don’t understand,” replied Palumbo. “It’s not as simple as it looks. Temperatures, the moisture in the air, everything has a part in this. And if they’re not in your favor, it doesn’t work.”

Palumbo said pre-wetting road surfaces with a salt-brine mixture is ineffective when the temperature is below 20 degrees.

Like road crews and public works departments, first responders were busy gearing up for the snowfall Monday night.

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The Millvale Volunteer Fire Department was putting chains on its trucks and putting seasonal supplies on stand-by.

“We’re basically making sure everything has fuel. The chains are ready to go. All the equipment is running. We’re just going to play it by ear,” said Assistant Chief Karl Cavanaugh.

According to the National Weather Service, a Winter Weather Advisory has been issued for much of the viewing area.

The advisory is in effect for the following counties in Pennsylvania from midnight until 1 p.m. Tuesday:

Allegheny, Beaver, Fayette, Greene, Washington and Westmoreland.

The advisory is also in effect for the following counties in West Virginia:

Brooke, Hancock, Marshall, Monongalia, Ohio and Preston.

A total of 2-4 inches is expected during that timeframe, with the most intense snow expected late Monday night into Tuesday morning.

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