Storm brings snow, ice, cold temperatures
Zachary Stilwell, 8, son of William and Dana Penatzer of Washington, flips a shovel full of snow over his head as he cleans the sidewalk along with his brother, Billy Penatzer, 6, in front of their home on Addison Street in Washington Thursday evening.
Jim McNutt / Observer-Reporter
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State health and emergency management officials are urging people to pay close attention to the weather and to use caution. The National Weather Service called for 1 to 2 inches of snowfall Thursday night, followed by dangerously low temperatures early this morning and into the weekend.
While snowfall accumulation will vary across the area, bitterly cold temperatures, accompanied by below-zero wind chills, will affect Washington and Greene counties.
The National Weather Service forecasts a high of 15 degrees today, with a low of 5 degrees. Wind chills will make it feel roughly 12 below zero. Additional snow showers are expected over the weekend. On Monday, the temperature will drop below zero. The last time the temperature dipped below zero was Jan. 22, 2011. The last time temperatures dropped under 10 below zero was Jan. 17, 2009, the National Weather Service said.
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency asked drivers to use caution, and for people to limit their time outdoors.
“Wind and extreme temperatures could lead to hazardous driving conditions, and dangerous wind chills will make it unsafe to be outside for any extended period of time,” Dave Holl, deputy director of operations at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, said in a press release. “People who do travel should be certain to have essential items in their vehicle such as food, water and warm clothes to help contend with the potential for dangerous conditions if travel delays occur.”
PennDOT Secretary Barry J. Schoch said crews will be working “around the clock,” but that roadways will not be free of snow and ice while precipitation is falling.
“PennDOT follows weather forecasts just like our customers do, but the bottom line is that weather is unpredictable and we need to be prepared for quick changes in weather and road conditions,” Schoch said in a press release. “If significant precipitation is forecast, people shouldn’t travel unless they must. This ensures that everyone stays safe and crews can focus on treating the roads.”
By 8:30 p.m. Thursday, 911 supervisors said there were 30 crashes across Washington County. None of the crash were severe, and only minor injuries were reported.
To check road conditions, visit www.511PA.com or call 511.
In the case of a power outage, the Department of Health reminds Pennsylvanians not to use electric heaters, camp stoves or similar devices indoors, and to be conscious of carbon monoxide buid-up and poisoning.
The elderly and young children should be checked regularly for hypothermia and other cold weather concerns.