Pennsylvania lays out plans for winter weather conditions
Winter is coming, and Pennsylvania is preparing.
While an El Niño weather system is expected to bring a warm winter to Pennsylvania, the state is still stockpiling hundreds of thousands of tons of road salt and hiring hundreds of seasonal workers to help keep highways clear.
PennDOT Secretary Mike Carroll said his crew is ready for the season.
“We have thousands of team members ready to brave the winter and keep our roads passable,” Caroll said.
Drivers can monitor road conditions and snow plow locations at 511pa.com.Additionally, the department has stockpiled more than 700,000 tons of salt across the state and will receive more throughout the season.
PEMA Director Randy Padfield addressed the dangers of snow squalls – sudden moments of moderate to heavy snowfall.
“With these dynamic situations, it is critical that the public understand how rapidly conditions can change and be prepared to make appropriate decisions to lessen the possibility of being stranded on the roadway or having their lives or the lives of their loved ones adversely impacted during the winter,” he said.
Snow squalls prove a major threat to drivers as evidenced by a March 2022 squall that led to six deaths in Schuylkill County.
Avoiding travel is the best option during squalls, Padfield added.
Chief Operating Officer of the PA Turnpike Commission Craig Shuey urged drivers to check their tires, windshield wipers, batteries and antifreeze before the first flake falls.
“All too often that check is done after the first inches of snow are falling,” Shuey said. “That’s too late.”
To help carry out a safe season, PennDOT is hiring 700 temporary equipment operators.