4 to 10 inches of snow predicted for Western Pennsylvania
By Tony LaRussa
Published: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012, 11:54 p.m.
If the amount of snow falls on Friday in the region as predicted, public works officials say they have crews ready to roll with salt and plows.
“A Phase 1 snow alert was put into effect (on Thursday afternoon) so we can be as ready as possible if the storm hits,” said Rob Kaczorowski, director of Pittsburgh's Department of Public Works. “We're fully stocked with road salt and have a full complement of crews who will be available to work 12-hour shifts around the clock, if needed.”
The alert also calls for plows and salt spreaders to be installed on public works vehicles, he said.
Allegheny County could receive as much as 4 inches of snow, with surrounding counties and communities in higher elevations getting upward of 10 inches, according to the National Weather Service in Moon.
“We're expecting a dusting of snow overnight and then see the heavier snowfall kick in sometime Friday morning and continue through the afternoon,” meteorologist Brad Rehak said.
He said consistency in the computer models used to track the storm provided “a pretty good degree of certainty” that the region will not be spared.
The Pittsburgh area will be affected by the same storm that dumped a foot of snow on parts of the Midwest, Rehak said.
Blinding snow near Des Moines, Iowa, resulted in a 25-vehicle chain-reaction crash in which at least one person died, and the storm was blamed for traffic deaths in Nebraska, Kansas and Wisconsin.
Although blizzard conditions in the Midwest forced airlines to cancel hundreds of flights across the country, they grounded just 10 flights to and from Pittsburgh International Airport as of 6 p.m. Thursday, according to flight tracking website flightstats.com.
All but two of the flights were en route to or headed from Chicago. About a quarter of Pittsburgh's flights ran at least 15 minutes behind schedule, according to the website.
A PennDOT official said the agency was prepared for the worst — but did not expect it.
“We're not expecting (the forecasted) 4 to 6 inches of snow, but we're prepared if it would snow that amount,” said Steve Cowan, PennDOT's District 11 safety officer.
Cowan said crews across the district, which includes Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence counties, are “ready for whatever type of storm this could become. We have the manpower, the trucks and the materials we need.”
Meteorologists called for 2 to 4 inches of snow in Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Greene, Westmoreland and Washington counties.
Butler, Fayette and Lawrence counties could get 2 to 5 inches, and 4 to 8 inches of snow could fall in Mercer County, according to the Weather Service.
The heaviest snowfall — between 6 and 10 inches — is predicted for Venango County and in sections of Westmoreland and Fayette counties in higher elevations, according to the Weather Service.
Snow showers are likely on Saturday with additional accumulation possible in some areas.
Temperatures on Friday are expected to hover in the low-30s during the day and drop into the mid-20s in the evening. Wind gusts could reach between 35 and 40 mph in some areas, the Weather Service said.
Allegheny County's public works department installed snow plows and loaded salt into spreaders on the 30 vehicles that will be deployed if the storm hits, said Amie Downs, the county's spokeswoman.
“Public works will have a full crew on beginning at 4 a.m., and other employees will be called in during the course of the day if the snowfall progresses,” Downs said.
Penn Hills Mayor Anthony DeLuca Jr. said last year's relatively mild winter and the lack of snow that has fallen this winter put communities like his in a good position to deal with the storm.
“We've got the plows on the trucks and a good stockpile of salt,” DeLuca said. “We also haven't had to spend a lot on overtime for the snow crews, so I think we can say we're pretty well set.”
Staff writer Tom Fontaine and The Associated Pr ess contributed to this repo rt. Tony LaRussa is a s taff writer for Trib Total Media. H e can be reached at 412-3 20-7987 or email@example.com om.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Obama hopes to replicate CCAC job training efforts across United States
- Legal experts question prosecuting South Fayette boy for recording bullies
- District attorney’s office takes paperwork from Wilkinsburg Middle School
- Would-be drillers quizzed by Allegheny County Council committee
- Crisis nursery in Larimer will fill a need, founders believe
- South Fayette mother wants case against bullied son to be dropped
- South Fayette parents express dissatisfaction with handling of bullying
- Several Duquesne homes damaged in fire
- Foundations team to make offer for August Wilson Center
- Ex-detective picked for Pittsburgh’s Citizen Police Review Board
- Newsmaker: Jerry Weber