Drivers, crews prepare for winter weather

HARRISBURG, Pa. – Drivers made their final preparations Wednesday before an expected round of winter weather rolls through the area.

“I come down here to get my gas,” Douglas Bowie, a driver from Harrisburg, said. “I’ve got to get gas in my car in case I do have to leave or go somewhere for emergencies.”

But some drivers say they’re not too worried about the morning commute.

“I commute back and forth,” Jessica Waller, a driver, said. “Everybody kind of freaks out when there’s a little bit of snow anymore, so it’ll be a little tricky, but, you know, we’ll be alright.”

PennDOT will have more than 300 trucks at the ready by midnight to cover the eight county region of south central PA.

When the snow begins to fall, those crews will begin treating and plowing the interstates as well as the U.S. and state highways to keep them clear.

The biggest concern will be making sure the roads are okay for the morning commute.

“The closeness to rush hour is always a concern,” Fritzi Schreffler of PennDOT said. “The nice thing is that the majority of what’s to fall is really to be before the major impact of rush hour. We expect that schools will probably be delayed or closed so that’s going to keep people home for a while and allow us time to get out and do our jobs.”

As to the question of pre-treating the roads, there are two reasons why that did not happen. One is the rain that is expected to fall before the snow that would wash the treatment mixture away, and the other is the surface temperatures are still supposed to be relatively warm when it does turn to snow.

“If it takes you a half hour to get to work, leave yourself an hour to get to work,” Schreffler said. “This is not the time to speed or tailgate, make sure you put your seat belt on, and lights on so others can see you.”