Last night I-83 was a parking lot for several miles–for several hours. A number of crashes in the snowstorm blocked the highway in several locations.
Many drivers were stuck for 5 or 6 hours, and many people blame PennDOT and its response.
PennDOT officials say Thursday was a perfect storm of events that caused a lot of problems on the road.
Officials say that the storm ended up being worse than originally forecasted. They also say the problem was that too many people got on the road all at once, with state employees leaving work and schools letting out at the same time, causing massive backups.
The other major issue was the number of empty tractor trailers that ended up getting stuck on the road.
PennDOT says they pretreated the roads, and had all of their plows out working, but there’s only so much they could do with that much traffic on the road.
PennDOT officials said the last time they remember problems like Thursday was the Valentine’s storm of 2007, that left drivers stranded. After that, they changed their protocols, and they say they followed those protocol changes yesterday