HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — PennDOT and emergency officials say before we know it, Pennsylvanians will soon see snow and ice and that can lead to dangerous conditions.
Regardless of the seemingly warmer than average temperatures, PennDOT says its entire fleet of trucks, plows and salt spreaders are prepared 24/7 to deploy more than 560,000 tons of stock-piled salt across the state.
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“Our number-one priority is safety, and that guides our winter preparations and operations,” PennDOT Acting Executive Deputy Secretary Melissa Batula said. “We are ready for the season ahead and motorists are our partners in making this season a safe one.”
Last year, there were 301 crashes on snow and ice, resulting in 143 injuries and four fatalities. Pennsylvania Emergency Management says to pay attention to weather advisories usually issued a day or two ahead of a storm.
With nearly $200 million budgeted for this winter’s statewide operations, PennDOT says it has the capacity to deploy 4,700 on-the-road workers across the state.
“Winter storms are a fact of life in our region, so drivers should take the time now to inspect the condition of their own vehicles and be sure that wipers and tires will perform well,” Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) COO Craig Shuey said.
PennDOT says drivers should also carry a number of potentially life-saving items before heading out in inclement winter weather including food, water, blankets, extra gloves and hats, cell phone charger, hand or foot warmers, windshield brush and scraper and any specialized items like medications or baby and pet supplies.
“If you must travel during times of inclement winter weather your planning should include knowing how you’ll get weather and travel alerts along your entire travel route,” Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Randy Padfield said.