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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The snow came down fast Wednesday morning, piling up across the region and making it difficult for plows to keep up. Despite all that, many drivers braved the roads, finding slick conditions mostly everywhere, including surrounding areas like Washington and Westmoreland counties.
It didn’t take long for the snow to create a thin blanket on Interstate 70 in Washington County. It began falling there just after 4 a.m. , which meant early-morning commuters had to reduce their speed.
“Twice as long,” one driver told KDKA’s Lisa Washington. “I live in Upper St. Clair, so it wasn’t horrible, like 45 [minutes].”
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation issued speed limits of 45 miles per hour on the interstates in Western Pennsylvania. Most all of the restrictions were lifted by the afternoon hours, but reduced speeds remained in place for portions of Interstate 79.
On I-70, the speed limit was reduced to 45 miles per hour all the way to the West Virginia state border.
“It was pretty treacherous this morning,” said Karen Moxon, of Strabane. “I got up at a quarter to five, there was nothing. I came on the interstate part way, but then I got off on the side roads, which were even worse than the interstate.”
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Plow truck driver had double duty, plowing the snow and putting down salt. KDKA saw Upper St. Clair Public Works crews creating a snow plow train, using three trucks in a row to clear Route 19 North.
“It was tough,” said Jim McCullough, who lives in the city of Washington, describing his morning commute. “None of the roads had been touched, and it just kept coming down.”
A PennDOT spokesman says crews began working at midnight to pre-treat the roads in anticipation of the snow and possible icing conditions. An anti-skid mixture was added to the salt mid-morning as a freezing rain began falling after the snow.
The morning commuters hope the afternoon ride home will be better than the morning.
“I think so,” said McCullough. “I’m going to wait it out in there and I’ll be okay.”
Over in Westmoreland County, once the snow started falling, it picked up in speed until it coated Route 22 in Murrysville.
“Just stay home if you don’t have to come out,” said driver Ralph McCready.
However, a lot of people, like Casey Purcell, braved the roads, despite what Mother Nature brought with it.
“I commuted from the North Hills and I’m going to Greensburg. I started about 7:45 a.m.,” said Purcell.
KDKA’s Amy Wadas Reports:
Purcell was sitting in the Sheetz parking lot around 9:15 a.m. taking a break from the elements when KDKA caught up with him.
“It’s completely covered. I saw a plow come by the opposite direction, and it moved a bunch of snow, but there was still snow on the road after it went by,” said Purcell.
The weather stopped Bill Yant from working, but he still left home to run some errands.
“Pretty bad. Most people shouldn’t be out. I saw vehicles sliding all over the place,” said Yant.
McCready was thankful for his truck.
“It’s a little bit of an adventure on the back roads. Had to put it in four-wheel drive a couple of times,”said McCready.
KDKA caught up with Virginia Bredlinger and her brother, Perry. They had another 45 miles to go until they were home. However, she wasn’t worried.
“He’s a truck driver. I don’t know what I’d do without him,” said Bredlinger. “As long as we get there safely. I know he will get us there.”
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