Gov. Wolf announces preparedness efforts, enhanced staffing for winter storm
HARRISBURG — As another winter storm takes aim at Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf announced staffing at the 24-hour Commonwealth Watch and Warning Center at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, which means extra personnel are working to monitor conditions and county needs. Motorists are strongly encouraged to delay all unnecessary travel and heed any local-level roadway restrictions that may be in place.
“We are working with state agency partners to make sure county emergency management coordinators have quick and unfettered access to state resources as they’re needed,” said Gov. Wolf. “We also cannot emphasize enough the need for the public to take these storm warnings seriously, stay tuned to local media for weather updates, and avoid any unnecessary travel.”
Starting tomorrow at 7 a.m., the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center will be fully staffed with personnel from the following state departments: PA State Police, PA Turnpike, Transportation, Military and Veterans Affairs, Health, Human Services, Conservation and Natural Resources, General Services, Environmental Protection, and Office of Administration, as well as the American Red Cross and the Civil Air Patrol.
The disaster emergency declaration, better known as a State of Emergency, enables the commonwealth to bypass the time-consuming bidding process to more quickly procure resources as needed and to access federal aid or resources to respond to county and citizen needs.
The winter weather amendment includes the following counties: Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Columbia, Dauphin, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming, and York.
The heaviest snows are expected to fall during much of the day Wednesday. In anticipation, PennDOT is moving five plow trucks and two graders along with 18 employees into Pike County to address any issues on Interstate 84, as well as 20 plow trucks and two graders along with 46 employees to address any issues on Interstates 80, 380, and Route 33 in Monroe County and the Lehigh Valley. The crews are being moved from western Pennsylvania to assist in this storm response.
While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists are encouraged to “Know Before You Go” by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 850 traffic cameras.
Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the “Check My Route” tool.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.
Source: Governor’s Office of Communications