Giant Snowstorm blankets Central Pennsylvania

Almost two feet of snow blanketed parts of Central Pennsylvania this morning, making travel nearly impossible, and there is the possibility that there is more to come.
The snow started early Sunday morning and pounded parts of the area.
“This storm started with a low pressure in the Tennessee valley on Friday,” said meteorologist John Dlugoenski of Accu Weather in State College. “The snow that came down Sunday afternoon was the first band. The storm joined with a low pressure off of the South Carolina coast and intensified last night bringing the additional snowfall.”
According to Dlugoenski, the storm was a decent storm for our region.
“If you look at the Blizzards of 1993 and 1996, the snowfall totals were a little larger,” said Dlugoenski. “We got 18 inches in 1996 and 24 in 1993. Those storms were very quick, one day events. This storm took three days to dump anywhere between 13 inches here in State College to 42 inches in Gannett County, Maryland. The worst of the storm has passed and we are only looking for another inch or two by midnight tonight and flurries after that.”
Snowfall totals as of 10 a.m. on Monday, had 12 inches at The Daily Herald offices, 13 inches in Sinking Valley, 14 inches in Warriors Mark and 20 inches in Birmingham.
“We’re asking people to be patient,” said Tyrone Mayor Pat Stoner. “I talked to a lot of other municipalities and they are asking their residents to give them two to three days to clean up from this storm. We’re asking that the snow removal signs downtown be observed and that if you don’t have to go out, please don’t. The less cars on the road, the easier it is on the snow removal crews.
“On the humanitarian side, I ask that if you have an elderly neighbor, check in on them,” said Stoner. “Most doctors’ offices are closed today and we want to make sure that people don’t go out and hurt themselves shoveling snow. Find a kid who is willing to shovel your driveway or sidewalk. Don’t try to shovel this heavy snow if you aren’t in the best of health.”
People who have needed to drive in the Tyrone area have taken the ultimate caution while on the roadway.
“We haven’t had any accidents reported yesterday or so far today,” said Tyrone police chief Joe Beachem. “We just ask people to stay off the roads that don’t have an emergency reason.”
Emergency management director at Blair County Emergency Management, Rod Bohner has also said that people should stay off of the roads if at all possible.
“Right now we’re just trying to monitor the situation. We’re hoping that everybody that doesn’t have to be on the road isn’t on the road,” said Bohner. “Right now we’re just in here trying to monitor if and when anybody needs help. I would advise that anybody that does not need to go anywhere does not move their car.”
Also Bohner advises that if at all possible people should move their cars onto a driveway or into a garage so that it is easier for the plows to get through.
With the snowfall expected to continue, Governor Ed Rendell declared a ‘State of Emergency’ last night for the entire commonwealth.
“Weather conditions statewide continue to deteriorate, and it is important to be proactive in responding to emergency needs that may arise,” Rendell said in a press release.
The proclamation authorizes state agencies to utilize all available resources and personnel as is deemed necessary to cope with the magnitude and severity of this emergency situation.
“The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) is in contact with our county emergency operations centers and will coordinate state efforts,” the governor said.
As of 10 a.m. PENNDOT reported road conditions on Interstate 99 as snow covered.
This storm has packed a punch that has brought the mid-Atlantic region to its knees.
The snow in the Washington D.C. area was so large that Arlington National Cemetery closed on Sunday and today.
“This is something that rarely happens,” said Barbara Owens, public affairs officer for the Military District Washington.
Snow totals were high across Pennsylvania: Johnstown reported 22 inches, New Kensington reported 18 inches and Pittsburgh had 13 in the west. In the east, Downingtown reported 21 inches while Bensalem reported 16, the National Weather Service said. Beaver reported 10.
Philadelphia had 17 inches of snow Monday morning and expected as many as 25, although warmer air Monday brought sleet to the area, which forecasters said would keep snow totals down.