Timeline: Snow storm left behind over a foot of snow in some local neighborhoods

PITTSBURGH — The snow will soon come to an end across the Pittsburgh area.

A Winter Storm Warning remains in effect for the majority of counties starting at 7 a.m. Thursday.

Latest school closing list: Pittsburgh school, business closings and delays

Photos: Snow falling across the Pittsburgh area


6 p.m. update:

Channel 11′s Melanie Marsalko talked to the Hempfield Township manager who said they put in extra hours, and they’re ready for the next one.

“Talking to our public works director, we had about 15 inches of snow at the northern part of the township. Because we’re so big, we could have a lot more snow in one area than we do in the other,” said Jason Winters.

Hempfield covers 300 miles of roadway. Winters said their crews stayed out until about 9 p.m. Wednesday and came back in just a couple hours later.

Watch more below:


5:30 p.m. update:

We found out how road crews are taking care of hilly streets, like those in Beechview.

Sebring Avenue sits at 1,170 feet. But just a few blocks away, main roads like Route 19 and Banksville Road are 200 to 300 feet lower.

And those elevation changes can make Beechview a challenging neighborhood to plow.

Channel 11′s Michelle Chavez found out how it went. Watch more in the video below:


5 p.m. update:

Like much of Pittsburgh, Observatory Hill is dealing with the aftermath of Wednesday’s snow storm.

It caused many people to use the weather as an excuse to take the day off, but not Erin Livingston...

Livingston didn’t just go to work, she walked there around 3 a.m.

She trudged through the snow to open Father and Son Family Bakery on Perrysville Avenue.

Watch more below:


1 p.m. update:

The City of Pittsburgh Department of Public Works is continuing to treat and clear roads as nearly 10 inches of snow fell over the city. The snow fall has been recorded as the fifth largest December snowfall event in Pittsburgh’s history.

Public Works crews have been working around the clock starting with pre-treatment of the roads on Wednesday morning, working throughout the storm, then continuing removal efforts into Thursday and into the evening despite having 25 employees off due to COVID-related reasons.

Extra Public Works crews have been brought in to help with snow removal.

Snow Plow tracker is activated and available here. Approximately 14 trucks experienced interruptions in data reporting and were not visible on the tracker. The City is working with the software provider to resolve this.

Some neighborhoods are experiencing recycling collections delays due to staffing issues in the Environmental Services division. Residents of the California-Kirkbride, Perry North/Observatory Hill, Perry Hilltop, Arlington, Mount Oliver and South Side Slopes neighborhoods are asked to leave their recycling at the curb as crews will be working extended shifts to collect them through the remainder of the week.

City residents are being asked to only use the roads when necessary and avoid cleaning cars and sidewalks into the street.


12:30 p.m. update:

Governor Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Randy Padfield, PennDOT Secretary Yassmin Gramian, and Pennsylvania State Police Corporal Brent Miller provided an update on the winter storm that impacted the state over the past 24 hours.

“Many areas of the commonwealth experienced heavy snowfalls that affected roads and created dangerous conditions, and emergency personnel responded to several emergencies and accidents caused by snowfall and blocked roads,” Gov. Wolf said.

Gov. Wolf also encouraged everyone to stay at home if you can to allow crews to clean up and do their work safely.

PennDOT and the Pennsylvana Turnpike officials announced and implemented speed and vehicle restrictions that were lifted today in the Harrisburg and Philadelphia regions. Additional restrictions are expected to be lifted throughout the day.

Pennsylvania State Police Corp. Brent Miller gave an update on the deadly crash on I-80.

“The State Police has a preliminary investigation into the crash on I-80 in Clinton County, which occurred just after 3 p.m.,” Miller said. “A backlog ensued and resulted in a series of chain reaction crashes that totaled 55 commercial vehicles and 11 passenger vehicles. Additional crashes occurred on I-80 in Jefferson, Clarion, and Mercer counties. Investigations continue.”


11:30 a.m. update:

Beechview is known for its steep hills and for having the steepest hill in the city, but neighbors said they have seen several crews come through here since the storm hit.

William Eberle grew up in the area and says he didn’t expect city crews to make it out to his neighborhood after seeing how much snow they got.

“Especially when it gets this bad, I would expect not to see them, you know, understanding that the roads are bad and you know they have so much to do, but they make regular passes through here,” Eberle said.

A Channel 11 crew saw trucks with plows making their way through the neighborhood.

“The city of Pittsburgh actually in my opinion never leaves us down. The plows in the salt trucks are through constantly just seeing them go by,” Eberle said.

Eberle said this is not the first time the city has helped them during storms like this one, despite the tough hills they have throughout the neighborhood.

If you want to receive alerts about weather, download our Severe Weather Team 11 app.


11 a.m. update

While many people got a snow day Thursday because of the winter weather, it’s business as usual at a local bakery.

Like the rest of Pittsburgh, Observatory Hill is dealing with the aftermath of Wednesday’s snowstorm.

The snow caused many people to take the day off, but not Erin Livingston. She walked to work at 3 a.m.

Livingston trudged through the snow to open Father & Son Family Bakery on Perrysville Avenue.

“I only live up the street, so the walk wasn’t that bad. There were some slips and falls. It was slippery, but I came here,” Livingston, the lead baker, said.

Winter weather, especially on a snow day, is actually big for business.

“People are coming in and buying dozens at a time. We all laughed, saying we are like the new toilet paper … everyone has to get their doughnuts before the snow starts,” Jeffery Dzamko, of Father & Son Family Bakery, said.


8:30 a.m. update:

Nearly 100 drivers needed help from troopers in our area and they investigated dozens of crashes, according to Pennsylvania State police.


6:45 a.m. update:

PennDOT has lifted the speed limit restrictions on interstates and other routes in western Pennsylvania.

Speed limits were reduced to 45 mph yesterday due to the winter storm and snow accumulation. All speeds have now been restored to their posted limits, PennDOT said in a news release.

PennDOT continues to plow and treat roads in the area and will continue until they are clear.

If you want to receive alerts about weather, download our Severe Weather Team 11 app.


5:45 a.m. update:

Road crews continue to work to clear away the snow but the work isn’t done.

Channel 11 crews driving throughout the area have seen main roads that are mostly slushy, but side streets are still covered.

Cold temperatures could cause a slick spots on the roads.


11 p.m. update:

“The plow guys are out and usually if you see a tow truck guy, it’s not good,” Phil Riggle said.

Riggley, co-owner of Allwine-Curry Towing said he was pretty busy Wednesday.

“That first round hit and it really got the roads icy and we started getting accidents,” Riggle said.

Riggle had a message for drivers even though we’ve already had snow this season.

“Our biggest concern is when we’re on the roadside is having people move over, slow down, give everybody lots of space,” he said.

9 p.m. update:

The outbound Fort Pitt Tunnel has reopened to traffic, according to PennDOT.

8:25 p.m. update:

A tree fell in the 600 block of Prospect Street in Crescent Township, which also caused a utility pole to fall, according to Crescent Township police.

A tree has fallen in the 600 block of Prospect Street, which has caused a pole to fall as well. Duquesne has been notified.

Posted by Crescent Township Police Department on Wednesday, December 16, 2020

8:08 p.m. update:

A crash in the 100 block of Center Avenue in Elizabeth Borough brought down a utility pole and wires, knocking out power to about 350 customers, according to a tweet from Allegheny County.

Crews will be working through the night to restore power.

7:34 p.m. update:

Traffic is currently stopped at the Fort Pitt Tunnel in the outbound direction due to a disabled truck and roadway conditions on Greentree Hill, according to PennDOT.

They are asking drivers to consider another route.

7:30 p.m. update:

Port Authority said they have pulled all of its vehicles from side streets are only able to serve main roads for the remainder of the night.

Update 6:55 p.m.:

Route 119 in Indiana County is closed in both directions at the intersection of West Creek Road in East Mahoning and the intersection of Beaver Drive in North Mahoning.

It’s closed due to several commercial vehicles being stuck, according to PennDOT.

The road is expected to be open by 8 p.m.

6:50 p.m. update:

Plows are out in pairs in some parts of the area.

6:17 p.m. update:

Be careful out there. The Parkway East is completely snow covered.

5:55 p.m. update:

The Wolf administration gave an update on the winter storm.

“This is a complicated storm system, and the impact of it will vary greatly depending on where you are in the state,” said Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Randy Padfield. “We will work throughout the night to make sure that our county partners have what they need to keep citizens safe, and we’ll support our partner agencies like the PA Turnpike and Department of Transportation to ensure that people who need to travel will be able to do so as safely as possible.”

“We urge the public to stay home unless travel is absolutely necessary,” Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Melissa Batula said. “Fewer vehicles on the road allows our teams to focus on keeping the roads open for critical movements, not only of the vaccine, but also our emergency responders, medical professionals, and those needing these services.”

5:35 p.m. update:

5:24 p.m. update:

Interstate 80 is now under tier 3 restrictions - that means no commercial trucks (tractor trailer or box truck) unless they have chains.

This will impact all packages and goods traveling across the state on I-80.

4:41 p.m. update:

A record snowfall has already been broken for today’s date at the National Weather Service office in Moon Township.

4:40 p.m. update:

The Pennsylvania Turnpike commission tells Channel 11 the speed limit has been reduced to 45 mph from the Pittsburgh interchange to the New Stanton interchange.

4:37 p.m. update:

PennDOT is temporarily restricting certain vehicles on Interstate 80.

The following vehicles are not allowed on the interstate from the Ohio border to New Jersey: empty tandem trailers, empty trailer trucks, motorcycles, permitted loads, rv/campers, vehicles with tow behind trailers, tractors without trailers, school buses, commercial buses and motor coaches

4:30 p.m. update:

Here’s another look of cars stuck at the top of McKnight Road.

3:58 p.m. update:

Several cars are stuck on part of McKnight Road as plows try to dig them out.

3:52 p.m. update: Here’s what roads are looking like in Dormont.

3:40 p.m. update:

Collier Township EMS posted this crazy video.

Crews were on the scene of a minor crash when the videos shows another truck coming toward them.

They added, “This is a reminder to please SLOW DOWN and use CAUTION not only in this weather, but ALL the time. Two of our members were almost struck during this incident, please be careful.”

Crew was on scene of a minor accident, checking on the occupant for injuries when this happened. This is a reminder to please SLOW DOWN and use CAUTION not only in this weather, but ALL the time. Two of our members were almost struck during this incident, please be careful.

Posted by Collier Twp EMS on Wednesday, December 16, 2020

3:03 p.m. update:

The snow is picking up in Washington County.

3:00 p.m. update:

Channel 11′s traffic anchor Trisha Pittman said there are delays beginning on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in both directions due to a crash at mile marker 83.1 between Donegal and New Stanton.

2:30 p.m. update:

Here are some of the snow totals across the area so far:

2:25 p.m. update:

Snow is starting to accumulate on the Parkway East.

1:59 p.m. update:

There’s a crash on northbound Route 28 approaching the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Harmar.

1:32 p.m. update:

PennDOT has reduced the speed limit to 45 mph on the following roads:

  • Interstates 79 (in Allegheny County), 376 (Parkways East and West in Allegheny County and the Beaver Valley Expressway in Beaver and Lawrence counties), 279, and 579; and
  • State Routes 28 (in Allegheny County) and 422 (in Lawrence County).

They are urging drivers to stay off the roads unless it’s necessary.

1:21 p.m.: update:

Southbound I-79 has been reduced to a single lane between the Wexford/Route 910 (Exit 73) interchange and the I-279 split due to a jackknifed truck.

Emergency crews are on the scene.

PennDOT officials said to expect significant delays.

1:19 p.m. update:

Bands of heavy snow are moving through.

1:15 p.m. update:

The Port Authority said buses are delayed around 40 minutes due to the road conditions.

12:56 p.m. update:

As of now, there aren’t any restrictions for the Pennsylvania Turnpike in the Pittsburgh area, but that could change.

Restrictions are currently from Breezewood to the East.

12:47 p.m. update:

A speed limit reduction of 45 mph has just been added for Route 28 and the parkways.

Commercial vehicles are also being restricted to right hand travel lanes only.

12:35 p.m. update:

Here are what road conditions are looking like on Pittsburgh’s North Side right now

12:31 p.m. update:

PennDOT said they are temporarily reducing the speed limit on Interstate 70 and Interstate 79 to 45 mph.

It is urging drivers to avoid unnecessary travel, but if you have to, to follow the reduced speed limit.

Commercial vehicles are also being restricted to right hand travel lanes only.

12:06 p.m. update:

The snow is starting to cover the roadways in Butler County.

12:02 p.m. update:

Allegheny County Public Works Director Stephen G. Shanley gave an update on Allegheny County.

He said Public Works deployed 26 salts trucks with plows at 7 a.m. to pretreat more than 360 miles of roadway. They will also be sending out an additional 10 salt trucks at 4 p.m., which would mean they would have a total of 36 trucks treating county roads and bridges during the evening rush hour.

Shanley said it takes about one to two hours for salt truck drivers to complete their routes, so there’s likely to be snow on the roads. He is encouraging drivers to stay home if possible, and if not, drive cautiously.

If you wish to report a snow or ice removal issue on a county-owned road or bridge, call 412-350-4636 between 8:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. or visit callcenter.alleghenycounty.us. If there is an emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.


Here’s how crews across the area are preparing for the snowfall:

The city of Pittsburgh plans to have 75 trucks out on the roads, starting at 6 a.m. Wednesday.

Road crews will stay on the roads throughout the afternoon, and the night shift will cover from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. Thursday.

Mechanics are also on call if any issues come up.


In Allegheny County, starting at 7 a.m. public works crews will have 26 salt trucks out and about on those county roads.

Channel 11 has learned crews are prepared to work extra hours, especially since the heaviest snow is expected right around the afternoon rush.

We checked in with PennDOT officials who said crews will be out in 12-hour shifts and they’re out pretreating roads.

Westmoreland County is expected to see 8 to 12 inches of snow and Unity Township public works officials are prepared to use more than 300 tons of salt and will have 21 salt trucks out throughout the morning. Unity Township supervisor Mike O’Barto said they have a good amount of salt and their trucks are fully equipped and ready for whatever accumulation is expected here.

“It’ll be a little easier tomorrow because there will not be any school buses on the road but there are people going to work and coming home from work and we want to make sure they can drive safely on all of our roads,” O’Barto said.

This is also the first time the township is spending a full winter inside its new building with a full fleet of trucks after an arson attack devastated it three years ago.

Obviously the number one way to avoid a crash during a winter storm is to just stay home. If you do head out , remember to take your time and don’t crowd the plow.