PennDOT prepares roads for upcoming winter weather

MANCHESTER TWP., Pa. - Drivers and road crews are both preparing for the winter weather expected to roll into the area overnight.

PennDOT has spent the last few days preparing for the snow and ice, and drivers are prepared to take extra care.

"If you've lived in central PA long enough, this is how it goes," Pam Robertson of Harrisburg said.

For Neftali Sanchez, who moved to York earlier this year, it will be his family's first winter in central Pennsylvania, and he says he won't be taking any chances with the area's roads.

"Especially the creeks and stuff like that, especially the hills and rivers, it gets more dangerous, but other than that, I'm hoping it'll be a good weather storm, nothing too serious," he said.

Some PennDOT crews have been out over the course of the day, but by midnight and into the overnight hours the crews will be out in full force. There will be 310 trucks and 35 rented trucks on the roads across eight counties in central Pennsylvania, patrolling the area's highways to clear any trouble spots.

“It's a wet mixture,” Fritzi Schreffler of PennDOT said. “There is salt involved in it, but basically because it's put out as a wet mixture, it's going to lay down on the road and it's going to dry. That's when you look out and you see that the road looks kind of white, that is salt that's on the road that's left there.”

As the snow starts falling and eventually gives way to freezing rain, that can be even more dangerous than the snow because of the icy conditions that the freezing rain would leave on roadways. That's why PennDOT says it prepared in advance.

“The purpose of pre-treating the roads with this wet mixture is once it dries, it's going to help us put a layer down that maybe will help some of the ice especially from sticking to the road,” Schreffler said. “It just makes it easier for us to try and clear the roads.”

When in doubt, take some advice from professional truck driver Robert Brown of Manchester Township.

“I think the biggest thing is if you're scared to drive in the snow, stay home, get your milk, eggs, bread, water, whatever it is you need tonight and don't drive in it,” he said.