Pittsburgh storm preparations include pretreating streets Tuesday night
Pittsburgh officials say the city is preparing for snow, possibly mixed with rain, that is expected to begin falling early Wednesday into the morning and afternoon rush hours.
Department of Public Works crews will begin pretreating streets with salt and liquid calcium chloride during the 10 p.m. shift Tuesday night and will switch to plowing snow when it begins to fall after 2 a.m.
City officials are urging DPW employees to work in 12-hour shifts to allow for snow and ice to be cleared before the morning rush hour, during rush hour and during the Wednesday afternoon rush hour. Shifts will overlap to allow for the maximum number of vehicles on streets to prepare for peak commuting times, officials said.
Public works could have more than 70 vehicles on city streets and will use vehicles and personnel normally reserved for maintaining parks.
How will the system evolve tonight and tomorrow? Check out this simulation of what we're thinking for timing of precipitation onset and how precipitation type will change through the day. pic.twitter.com/oz8SfGWRQm— NWS Pittsburgh (@NWSPittsburgh) February 6, 2018
Hours for live operators at the city's 311 response center will be extended two hours Wednesday to field residents' service requests.
Phone calls to 311, or 412-255-2621 outside of Pittsburgh, will be taken from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and shared with DPW crews. Residents may submit street treatment requests over Twitter to @Pgh311.
City forestry crews will be on alert Wednesday to respond to trees and branches that could fall because of snow or ice.
Weather conditions on Wednesday could include snow, rain and freezing rain. Commuters are urged to stay off roads during hazardous conditions and if they must drive use extreme caution.
The city's snow plow tracker will be activated about 10 p.m. Tuesday evening.
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4701, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @BCRittmeyer.