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Area braces for winter storm

After weeks of mild weather, the area has tasted wintery conditions for the last several days, but those blasts were just the first salvos of what Northern Blair and other area residents can expect from a storm hitting the region this weekend.
The National Weather Service has issued a heavy snow warning in effect from 7 a.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. on Sunday for just about all counties in the region including Blair, Huntingdon, Centre and Clearfield counties.
Today’s forecast for Blair County calls for periods of snow, heavy at times. Expected accumulation of 4 to 8 inches are predicted with cold temperatures with highs around 15 and Southeast winds 15 to 20 mph. Wind chill values around should be around 5 below zero.
On Saturday night more periods of snow in the evening which are expected to taper to scattered snow showers after midnight. Total accumulation of 6 to 10 inches are expected from the storm with areas of blowing and drifting snow. It will be breezy with lows around 10 above and north winds 15 to 20 mph. Wind chill values around 5 below.
On Sunday the area can expect a 30 percent chance of snow in the morning then decreasing clouds and some blowing and drifting snow likely. It will be breezy with highs 15 to 20. Northwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Wind chill values around 5 below. No additional snow is in the forecast until Wednesday with a rain/snow event predicted at mid-week, temperatures are expected to warm into the 20s and 30s during the early part of next week.
Officials in the area reacted to the predicted storm on Friday.
Tyrone Area Athletic Director Tony Yaniello announced this afternoon’s boys junior varsity and varsity games against Bellefonte which were scheduled at Tyrone Area High School have been postponed. He said all practices and events scheduled at the high school were also canceled.
Bellwood Athletic Director John Hayes said the Bellwood girls’ JV and varsity games at Bishop Guilfoyle scheduled for 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday have been postponed until next Saturday, Jan. 29 at 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. respectively.
He also said a Juniata League girls basketball playoff game, Juniata Valley versus Claysburg at Bellwood scheduled for today has been postponed until Jan. 29.
Antis Township Manager Jeff Ziegler said the township road crews were ready for the snow. He said trucks had been prepared with plows and salt and workers had been told to be ready to go today.
“It’s helpful if cars are off the road,” said Ziegler. “We just ask people to be patient, we do the main roads first.”
He said on-street parking during a snow event is usually not a big problem in the township since it has very few roads with designated on-street parking available.
Both Tyrone Borough and Bellwood Borough have specific policies regarding how residents and motorists should handle snow events. Both municipalities recently had display ads in The Daily Herald explaining the policies.
In Tyrone Borough, residents are reminded a snow accumulation of three inches or more will initiate the odd/even parking policy in the borough. So that the snow can be plowed back to the curb, vehicles must be parked on the odd-numbered side of the street on the odd-numbered days and on the even side of the street on even-numbered days. Those living on streets with one side parking only must remove their vehicles to another area, as it relates to the odd/even requirement. If snow falls overnight, vehicles must be moved by 8 o’clock the following morning. Tyrone Borough has advised motorists that failure to comply with the order will result in the vehicle being towed.
Tyrone Borough has also advised that sidewalks must be cleared o snow/ice within 24 hours of the completion of the snowfall. If the sidewalk is icy, the responsible person should use enough sand, salt or abrasive to make pedestrian travel on the sidewalk safe. Snow should be piled on the edge of the sidewalk and not thrown out into the street. Violators are subject to fine under ordinance number 1075.
Tyrone Borough also advised when clearing spots for parking a vehicle or digging out a vehicle, you are not permitted to pile the snow on the street in front of or behind the vehicle. You need to pile the snow on the edge of your sidewalk or property. Large piles of snow on the road are prohibited since it can obstruct the view of vehicles pulling our from street corners. The borough also noted putting the piles of snow on the street takes up needed parking spaces.
Tyrone Borough said when possible, notification of snow emergency procedures will be broadcast on 1340 WTRN radio.
In Bellwood Borough, the Highway Department is requesting cooperation regarding parking during snowstorms. Its ordinance number 466 requires the initiation of odd/even parking in the event of a snow of two inches or more.
The policy works the same as Tyrone’s, requiring motorists to park on the odd-numbered side of the street on odd-numbered days and the even- numbered side of the street on even-numbered days.
If snow falls overnight, vehicles must be moved by 8 a.m. If your vehicle is disabled, Bellwood Borough has advised it should be removed from the street.
Attempts were made to reach Snyder Township offices and maintenance department about their policies and plans for dealing with the snow event, but The Daily Herald was unable to reach them by press deadline Friday night.