Dozens of children, staff stranded inside North Hills day care for hours after road closes

Dozens of children, staff stranded inside North Hills day care for hours after road closes

GIBSONIA, Pa. — Nearly 25 children and staff members were stranded at a North Hills day care Tuesday evening after Route 910 was closed in both directions because of accidents and icy conditions.

Part of Route 910 (Wexford Road) was closed last night until salt trucks could arrive, and some parents weren't able to get to their children at STEMsteps Preschool & Kindergarten for more than two hours.

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"Messages started to come in via the app that we use about them just waiting, sitting on sides of roads, sitting in ditches, sitting in housing plans, just waiting and waiting, and it was two to three hours," said Gabrielle Palermo, co-owner of STEMsteps.

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Palermo said she started calling local and state police and finally got through to 911.

"I told them we have kids here, we are worried parents don't know what to do or when it’s going to be open. I was supposed to get a call back and never got a call back," Palermo said.

When we took the day care's concerns to PennDOT, they said:

"The Department did not pre-treat roadways because the storm started as rain Monday night, and the brine would have just washed off the roads. Unfortunately, a heavy squall came through during rush hour and impacted our roadways in a very short timeframe. It's important to note that our plow routes average 40 miles in length, and it can take up to 3 hours for the truck to make a complete loop."

After we reached out, PennDOT said it's also holding an after-action review of the storm and discussing the possibility of modifying the route that handles this part of 910 to avoid problems down the road.