The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


December 15, 2013

Snowstorm Creates Severe Road Hazards

During this month's first substantial snowfall, the state Department of Transportation did not stop.

PennDOT's official Twitter account Saturday was pumping out updates of accidents and clearings throughout the day at a rate of more than one per minute.

Beyond the agency providing digital updates about slippery road conditions, road workers naturally had their hands full.

"Our guys have been out since (Friday) night, pretreating the roads with brine and salt where you can try to keep the snow from landing on the roads and accumulating," said PennDOT's district press officer James May.

WBRE-TV meteorologist Drew Anderson said parts of Luzerne County had accumulated 2 to 4 inches of snow as of 6 p.m., but that was before the storm picked up.

"It was slow to get started, but we really turned the corner right around 5 o'clock," said Anderson, who suggested the snow would "rapidly accumulate" in the hours between 6 and 8 p.m.

The weather caused problems for drivers all day, as several motor vehicle accidents were reported in Luzerne County, including a vehicle colliding with a house on Fellows Avenue, Hanover Township.

Police said a car slid at Lyndwood and Fellows avenues and struck a home, hitting a water pipe. The tenants inside the residence were not injured, but were taken out of the home for precautionary reasons, police said. The American Red Cross is assisting the tenants.

May said PennDOT received reports that suggested parts of Luzerne County as being slick, including on state Route 29 in the area of Nanticoke.

In the early evening, May reported a speed restriction of 45 miles per hour had been placed on all of interstates 80 and 81.

However, Anderson said today should be relatively dry, as snow should taper off overnight into today.

May advised drivers to stay up to date on weather conditions by calling 511 or visiting, which provides traffic warnings, weather forecasts and access to nearly 700 traffic cameras.

Although it appears this snow has passed, May offered drivers a simple piece of advice for the next storm: "Slow down, make sure you wear your seat belt - but if you don't have to travel, stay home."

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