PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Western Pennsylvania is preparing for an incoming winter storm, with parts of the Pittsburgh area under a Winter Storm Warning and expecting 5 to 8 inches of snow.
Allegheny County’s Department of Public Works director says 26 salt trucks with plows will hit the roads starting at 7 a.m. Wednesday, which is also when the Winter Storm Warning goes into effect. Drivers will be kept over the end of their shifts to keep the roads clear.READ MORE: PPG Paints Arena Recommending Masks Inside
The department says they’re anticipating the highest snowfall totals in the eastern part of the county.
Meanwhile, they’re encouraging people to slow down, leave extra time for their commute and keep extra space between vehicles.
PennDOT is also advising people to avoid traveling Wednesday if they can, especially if you’re heading east of Pittsburgh.
The city is preparing to send out 75 trucks on the 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. daylight shift Wednesday, with crews salting the roads and continuing to treat and plow throughout the storm.
Crews will be extended through the afternoon shift from 2 to 10 p.m., where 69 trucks will be available, and night crews will work through 7 a.m. Thursday.
The snow is especially a concern with the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine underway in Pennsylvania. The state received over 97,500 doses to go to 87 hospitals.
UPMC Presby just received doses Tuesday, and five frontline healthcare workers at UPMC were vaccinated Monday morning with the first doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine.
HISTORIC MOMENT: A UPMC frontline healthcare worker receives #Pittsburgh's first Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine.
— KDKA (@KDKA) December 14, 2020
Gov. Tom Wolf and several state agencies held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to say the state is prepared for the winter weather.READ MORE: 2 North Side Restaurants To Require Proof Of COVID-19 Vaccination
“Every agency involved in winter weather preparedness has a role to play in helping to ensure that vaccine distributions proceed smoothly and safely in the coming days,” said Gov. Tom Wolf. “Our team is ready to work collaboratively to address any issues that arrive with vaccine transport and distribution.”
The governor says staying home will help everyone get through the storm.
The commonwealth is prepared for tomorrow’s winter storm thanks to the hard work and dedication of several state agencies.
This storm poses a risk to all travelers and our frontline workers. Please stay home when possible. pic.twitter.com/YoedzeQDpR
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) December 15, 2020
PEMA and the Department of Health are working together to assess the impacts the storm will have on vaccine distributions.
“Using this information, our agency will be able to coordinate with other state agencies, the national guard, county or local governments or any other stakeholders as needed to provide the support to make sure the vaccine makes it to its destination,” said PEMA director Randy Padfield.
Gov. Wolf says they’ll only make changes to the virus distribution schedule if the weather forces their hand.
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PennDOT says to avoid traveling tomorrow if you can, especially if you are headed east of Pittsburgh. @KDKA
— Chris Hoffman (@NewsmanChris) December 15, 2020
The Winter Storm Warning runs from 7 a.m. Wednesday until 7 a.m. Thursday. KDKA Meteorologist Ray Petelin says the impacts of the system aren’t expected to begin until Wednesday afternoon.