MERCER CO., Pa. (WYTV) – As crews work to clear Mercer County roads from Thursday’s wintry blast, they’re prepping for another round tonight.
“I was on shift until midnight last night and we had a lot of heavy squalls. I mean, it was like whiteout conditions,” said Paula Klingler, with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. “We actually had to have the speed limit reduced within the county and on the interstates.”
Weather like this is pretty much par for the course.
“Mercer County residents expect there to be five inches of snow in late December. Western Pennsylvania winters are like this,” said Frank Jannetti, Director of Public Safety.
Klingler said PennDOT has been plowing its 34 roadways since early Thursday evening.
“On the interstates, we normally use straight salt and on our interstate look-alikes, like…State Route 18.”
Currently, Mercer County has 9,000 tons of salt available.
Jannetti said they’re prepared for whatever comes their way.
“They do everything they can. They do a great job keeping the roadways clear, and our fire departments are prepared to go out in the event that they need to.”
To avoid accidents, Klingler said drivers need to be patient.
“Take time traveling because the wind is supposed to pick up here, so we’re going to have heavy wind gusts with drifting.”
Frank said drivers need to allow for extra time and focus on the roads.
“Distracted driving is always an issue, whether it’s dry roads or snow-covered roadways, but people just need to take their time and understand that an extra five minutes isn’t going to hurt them.”
If you don’t see a PennDOT truck plowing, don’t worry.
“We’re on the road,” Klingler said. “We’re not always in the exact place that people would like us to be, but we are out there taking care of business.”