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Robert Inglis/The Daily Item

Sunbury Street Department worker Randy Napp makes a minor repair to a plow on Tuesday afternoon.

Some schools canceled classes before snow started to fall, winter sports games are moved back and restrictions are going into place on Valley highways ahead of the expected largest winter blast of the season.

A winter storm watch went into effect late Tuesday and will run through this evening, according to the National Weather Service in State College.

According to meteorologists, snow could accumulate between 2 to 6 inches throughout the day with a light glaze of ice also possible. Winds could also gust up to 40 mph. Heavy snow rates of an inch an hour are possible throughout the day. The watch is in effect for 19 counties in central Pennsylvania, including all four Valley counties.

PennDOT and local street crews began pre-treating roads across the region on Tuesday afternoon and PennDOT announced restrictions would go into place at 6 a.m. with additional restrictions in place at noon.

Beginning at 6 a.m. Tier 1 restrictions kick in along Interstate 80 from Interstate 79 north of Pittsburgh to I-180 in the Valley. At noon, restrictions go into place on I-80 from I-180 to the New Jersey border; I-81 from I-78 to the New York border; I-476/Pa Turnpike from I-78 to I-81 Clarks Summit.

Under Tier 1 restrictions, the following vehicles are not allowed on highways: Tractors without trailers; Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded enclosed trailers, open trailers or tank trailers; Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers; Enclosed unloaded or lightly loaded cargo delivery trucks/box trucks; passenger vehicles (cars, SUV’s, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers; recreational vehicles/motorhomes; school buses, commercial buses and motor coaches; and motorcycles.

Valley schools began to close or shift to flexible instruction days Tuesday night. Schools are now permitted five flexible instruction days each year where they can shift to remote learning; others have updated for traditional snow days. All Valley schools had closed or switched to flexible instruction before 10 p.m. Tuesday night.

All PA CareerLink sites will be closed today, including the center in Sunbury. The locations are expected to reopen on Thursday, officials said. Also closed today is the CSIU in Montandon, along with the LPN Career Center.

Penn State University will also be closed today.

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