The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation is preparing for the snow blast by urging motorists in affected areas to avoid unnecessary travel. PennDOT says travelers should expect delays and should carry emergency survival kits in their vehicles.
"It's been a trying winter for all of us, and I sincerely thank all motorists who have wisely avoided unnecessary travel during the worst of conditions," said Allen D. Biehler, PennDOT secretary. "Some forecasts suggest this upcoming storm could be on par with - or worse than -- other recent storms."
Earlier this month, much of southern Pennsylvania was battered with blizzard conditions.
"PennDOT and local crews fought through drifts as high as 15 feet during the Feb. 10 blizzard and this upcoming storm could produce similar, if not worse, conditions," Biehler said. "The bottom line is that with the extreme conditions expected, motorists must be prepared if they become stranded."
PennDOT is also suggesting drivers tell a relative or friend what time they will travel, the route they'll take, and destination. If drivers encounter white-out conditions, PennDOT recommends drivers stop only after safely getting as far off the road as possible and to not stop in the flow of traffic. Should motorists become stranded, the department says they should not risk trying to walk to safety unless they're certain of their surroundings.
According to Biehler, interstates and other high-volume expressways are treated first during winter storms. Secondary state routes are a lower priority and during severe winter storms, deeper accumulations will occur on these roadways. PennDOT also asks motorists to allow plenty of space when driving near plow trucks and never attempt to pass a truck while it is plowing or spreading winter materials.
For more winter driving tips, visit www.dot.state.pa.us/winter.