PITTSBURGH, PA (KDKA) — Crews across our area are already preparing for a white Christmas, but that weather may impact travel later tonight, too.
“We are planning to get back on the road around 6 p.m., so we can get home in time before everything gets bad. We are in the snow belt so we are looking at seven-plus inches,” said Eileen McComps.
McComps traveled to North Huntingdon to see her sister from Ohio, but the weather is a top concern for her family.
“It’s going to change really quickly. So we are concerned for the people that choose to go to Masses. We really would like them to stay home and watch it on TV,” said Mike Gable, the director of Pittsburgh Public Works.
Gable said the city started planning for the winter storm on Monday. Extra staffing is coming in through 10 p.m. on Christmas Day for a total of about 50 to 60 trucks each shift.
“Temperatures at 7, 8 or 9 o’clock, it’s going to be pretty much above freezing so everything coming down is going to melt and stay wet; but at that point, we are going to put some material down to get ahead of the game,” Gable said.
The real concern for the crews is ice, so Gable is asking drivers to stay off the road.
Meanwhile, Allegheny County Public Works plans to send out 24 salt trucks with plows but will adjust as the snow starts to fall. As for PennDOT, it is implementing Level 1 restrictions for tractor-trailers traveling on the Parkway from the Fort Pitt Tunnel to Interstate 79.
“Three to six inches on Greentree Hill can be difficult for any motorist. But for these empty trucks, it’s worse on that hill. In the last storm, we had to close the outbound tunnel and we had a hard time actually getting our crews there to clear the snow,” said PennDOT spokesperson Steve Cowan.
Crews in neighboring municipalities are also preparing for the snow to accumulate before sending trucks out to treat the roads.