BELLEVUE (KDKA) — In the heart of Bellevue, Tyler Loebach was muscling Mother Nature’s latest onslaught off the sidewalks a shovel full at a time.
“It’s all slush and ice underneath. It’s heavy,” Loebach says.
KDKA’s John Shumway Reports:
From Bellevue to Boyce Park, from Bentleyville to Butler, to Baden and Beaver Falls, Wednesday’s snow sits heavy on the shovel and heavy in the plow.
For those on foot, “It’s tough out here,” says Theresa Gruener.
She was trying to traverse blocks of business sidewalks where some are clear and others untouched. Leave the sidewalk, and you’re doing a Bill Murray-imitation from Groundhog Day.
“Very treacherous. Big puddles of slush and you’re up to your ankles before you realize it,” Gruener says.
Or as Ned Ryerson would describe it, “That first step is a doooozy.”
Loebach was working fast to clear the sidewalk because with temperatures diving overnight, “It’s all going to turn to ice. Solid ice! And we’ll have to deal with it tomorrow,” he says.
Gruener reaction, “Oh, Dear Jesus, no, no, no, no.”
It’s a common threat across the region, which is the reason for the all-out attack to clear as much asphalt and concrete as possible.
Pittsburgh Public Works Director Mike Gable says, “When you get into the night, with 20 to 15 degrees, you’re asking for real problems.”
While the roads may have at least a bed of salt put down during the morning storm, sidewalks are up to home and property owners.
Gable says, “The idea is to get some material down so that the sun and temperatures can help tomorrow.”
Larry Weir came by T&M Hardware in Bellevue for a couple of bags of deicer so he could do a preventative treatment on his now clear driveway.
“It will slow the other stuff from forming later on tonight,” he said.
Samantha Post, who’s family owns T&M, carried one of the bags for Weir.
Post says with the temperatures dropping to the teens tonight, “Your best option is the calcium chloride, that’s the little white pellets. It melts to the lowest temperature, it melts the fastest. It is a little pricier because it works the most effectively.”
PennDOT crews were also concerned about overnight icing.
“We will probably have five or six guys out at different stockpiles, checking things out and making sure everything is okay,” said Bruce Hartman, with PennDOT District 10. “The salt doesn’t work real well if it’s below 15 degrees and the temperatures tonight are going to go down to 10 degrees, so it’s best just to wait until tomorrow morning and hit it again when sun comes up, and salt be more effective.”
Some side roads in Jackson Township, Butler County, didn’t look too bad, but Route 19 had some sketchy spots. If you’re going to be out on the road overnight or early Thursday morning, take it slow.
“I get up early enough. I might leave a little earlier though, but I won’t get up any earlier,” said Tonya Krchelich, of Butler.
“[Thursday] morning, absolutely, I’ll be back out at it. It’s Western Pennsylvania, it happens,” said Hartman.
PennDOT said they will have 41 trucks out in Butler County salting the roads, starting at 4 a.m. to make sure everything is melted for the morning rush.