Crews prepare for incoming winter storms in Southwestern Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH — Channel 11 is keeping track of how crews are preparing for incoming winter weather.

WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY: Here’s what you can expect as 2 storms move into the Pittsburgh area

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How the City of Pittsburgh is preparing

The City of Pittsburgh says it’s prepared and will have 40 trucks out at 10 p.m. Tuesday, with additional crews added Wednesday morning.

Chris Hornstein is the director of Public Works for Pittsburgh.

“It looks like the bulk of the snowfall will happen right around the morning commute,” Hornstein tells Channel 11. “Starting at 10 p.m. tonight, we’ll have trucks out, putting salt down everywhere, pre-treating ahead of the storm. Trying to make the commute as easy as possible for everyone. Drivers need to be aware the roads are going to be slushy and snow covered. We’re going to get a lot of snow in a short amount of period potentially.”

At T&M Hardware in Bellevue, co-owner Samantha Post says they’re expecting a rush tomorrow.

“The number one thing we expect to sell tomorrow with the snow is people who find out they’re missing an ice scrapper or shovel,” Post tells Channel 11. “We’re obviously going to sell some salt once it lands and windshield washer fluid is always good to have when roads get a little messy like they will be.”

Post also suggests a full tank of gas, making sure your tire pressure is okay and stocking your trunk with blankets, jumper cables, windshield washer fluid, an ice scraper and a shovel in case you need to dig out.

How PennDOT is preparing in Allegheny County

PennDOT in Allegheny County says their crews will hit the road at midnight and work 12-hour swifts until at least midnight on Thursday. They plan to have over 80 trucks on all the major state routes in the county, equipped with plows. They’ll pretreat the roads, plow in the morning and then treat the roads again in the afternoon if rain turns back over to snow.

PennDOT wants people in our area to expect a dicey morning commute and plan ahead so you and your family are safe.

“If you can stay home, please do,” Ben DeVore, PennDOT’s Allegheny County manager tells Channel 11. “If you’re out there, please give our plows plenty of room and obey speed limits because there could be reduced speed limits during the storm.”

DeVore says if you can work from home and stay off the roads, please do. If that’s not an option, he gave the following advice.

“In the morning, give yourself extra time, go slower than usual, give our plows extra room. The roads will be passable, but they will not be fully cleared.”

HOV lane closures

PennDOT also announced that HOV lanes on I-279 and I-579 will be closing Tuesday night into Wednesday.

The closure will go into effect approximately two hours after the end of the Penguins home game. The lanes will stay closed through the storm.

Crews will monitor weather conditions and determine when the lanes will reopen. According to a news release, PennDOT anticipates the HOV lanes will be reopen for afternoon rush hour on Wednesday.

How Butler County is preparing for predicted accumulation

Butler County is slated to be one of the places where we could see up to five inches of snow.

Troy Adamosky is the assistant highway maintenance manager for Butler County PennDOT. He says they’ve added an extra assistant manager to work overnight to help monitor conditions, which is done several ways.

Adamosky said, “They have cameras out there we can watch their cameras, we have two cameras on interstate 79 that we can watch and we’ll call the other counties like Lawrence, Beaver, and see when it’s hitting there and we have a better idea of when to come out.”

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