• WINTER STORM WARNING: Snow, freezing rain continue across our area

    Updated:

    Many areas are still seeing snow and freezing rain.

    The complicated winter storm caused a mess Wednesday morning. More than 700 school districts and organizations delayed the start of their day or closed due to the weather.

    PHOTOS: Winter storm dumps snow, ice and freezing rain across area

    The heaviest snow rain from Beaver county northeast through Butler, Venango and Clarion counties.

    Ice accumulation of nearly a quarter coated trees, sidewalks and power lines in areas east and south of Pittsburgh. 

    SEVERE WEATHER ALERTS

    The Port Authority Red Line was stopped on the tracks for a short time due to ice on the overhead lines. Crews removed the ice quickly and got the cars running again.

    SCHOOL CLOSINGS/DELAYS

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    There could be slick spots throughout the day Wednesday as freezing rain and rain continue to fall across the area.

    Chief Meteorologist Stephen Cropper will have the latest updates on Channel 11 News at 5 p.m.

    Costa told Channel 11 the city already has readjusted some routes and they will have 70-80 trucks on the roads. Another change is that drivers will now work 12-hour overlapping shifts so there's no drop in coverage.

    In addition, the city's 311 center -- where residents can call to ask for streets to be plowed -- will open at 8 a.m. for at least 12 hours.

    MT. LEBANON: Police say no overnight parking is allowed on roads in the township so crews have enough room to plow. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

    They also note that shoveling snow into roads that have been treated or plowed can result in fines. 

    On Washington Road, Rollier’s Hardware store almost sold out of salt. 

    Parents say they are preparing to rearrange their schedules just in case there’s a two-hour delay or classes are canceled altogether.

    BETHEL PARK: Major roads and steep hills are already pre-treated. Drivers are ready to go, with backup drivers on standby. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

    BUTLER COUNTY: At T&M Hardware in Zelienople, there was a rush on salt and ice melt. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

     

    Aaron Maier was getting a workout, constantly picking up and loading 40-pound bags of salt for customers.

    "Loading lots of salt, customers’ purchases, just making sure they have shovels, anything else they need for the upcoming snow,” Maier said.

    State officials say every truck they have will be out on the roads Tuesday night before the storm hits.

    BEAVER COUNTY: PennDOT crews were gearing up hours before the storm.

    The county salt stockpile was being portioned out to different sites.

    PennDOT says it won't pre-treat roads because they have enough salt residue on them.

    "We'll probably start a little ahead of the storm. We'll keep an eye on it and get out ahead of it," said Michael Simmons, county maintenance manager with PennDOT. "With it coming at four in the morning, we'll be within an hour or two of rush hour, so we want to make sure we stay ahead of it. We don't want to get behind the storm."

    PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE: Trucks were gearing up at the Pennsylvania Turnpike maintenance building in Greensburg right along Route 66, loading salt into the back of their trucks and staying stocked with salt brine. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

    Out of that building alone, there will be 12 drivers out covering the turnpike from the New Stanton interchange to Route 22 in Delmont, a truck covering every five miles.

    All those trucks will be out on the road by 11 p.m.

    The turnpike District 1 superintendent says they are mostly concerned with any ice and freezing rain that could come with this storm. 

    "We watch the temps very closely. We’ll use a salt brine additive to activate the salt faster; if we're below 20 degrees, we'll switch to calcium chloride," he said.

    HIGHWAYS AND STATE ROADS: Sixty PennDOT snowplows will be out clearing the snow. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

    Officials say if you can avoid traveling altogether during the storm, you should. If you are out during the storm, take your time and give crews room to clear the roads. 

    The main focus for crews is getting to priority roads first.

    “Pittsburgh region, the three parkways, Interstate 79, Route 28, I-579, those get the most attention,” said PennDOT spokesman Steve Cowan. “We want to make sure, because of the high traffic volume, that those roads are safe and passable.”

    WASHINGTON AND FAYETTE COUNTIES: PennDOT trucks are loading up to treat the roads. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO

    There will be 50-60 trucks on the roads Wednesday morning.


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