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Early season snow slams area

Northern Blair didn’t miss this one.
One co-worker at The Daily Herald office wondered yesterday if the storm would miss the area. No such luck, as forecasters were “right on” in their prediction of six to eight inches of snow. Most of the snow fell in the overnight hours. In northern Blair, the first flakes didn’t start until late Thursday evening. In other parts of Blair County, the snow began to fall shortly after 9 p.m.
The snow came down over the next several hours and started to move out of the area by around 5 a.m. A heavy snow warning had been in effect from 7 p.m. Thursday until the late morning hours. However, later National Weather Service updates indicated the fast-moving storm had already moved east well before sunrise.
Motorists and residents had to contend with the usual effects of a heavy snow. Blowing snow created by blustery conditions was expected throughout the day. PENNDOT crews were out overnight to maintain I-99 and state roads.
PENNDOT offered this advice for those shoveling driveways. The agency suggested residents keep a cleared area of roadway just to the left of a driveway to give the snow on the blade of the plow a place to empty before it gets to the driveway. PENNDOT said doing so would prevent the frustration of doing the same job twice.
PENNDOT assistant district engineer in maintenance, Mark Lingenfelter said, “people who plow or shovel snow onto the roadway present problems for snow removal crews.
“Snowplow operators cannot lift the plow when approaching each driveway and have no choice but to plow it back from where it came,” said Lingenfelter. “If snow is pushed onto the highway after the road has been cleared, it can become packed down and results in ice patches that can cause an accident.”
Lingenfelter also noted that plowing snow from side streets and driveways across a state road is an extremely dangerous and illegal practice. Homeowners and independent plow operators can be cited for leaving snow tracks across the highway.
Boroughs and townships pressed their highway workers into service to handle the roads in those communities.
According to information faxed to The Daily Herald by Bellwood Borough, residents were being reminded to follow the odd/even parking ordinance when in effect along with the snow emergencies ordinance when in effect.
Other practical tips about winter safety were included in a recent release about Bellwood Borough that appeared in the Bellwood-Antis Community News. Those tips suggested motorists should move their vehicles when a snowplow or truck is coming down the street.
Children should be reminded not to play in the snow banks along the roadside made by the plow trucks. Also children should move away from the roads and sidewalks into their yards when they see plow trucks since the plows throw snow off the roads onto the sides of the street.
In Tyrone, Borough residents were reminded that a snow accumulation of three inches or more would initiate the odd/even parking police.
Vehicles must be parked on the odd-numbered side of the street on the odd-numbered days and 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. If snow occurs overnight, vehicles must be moved by 8 a.m., the following morning.
The borough reminded motorists that failure to comply would result the towing of the vehicle.
Also, sidewalks must be cleared of snow/ice within 24 hours of the completion of the snowfall. Snow should be piled on the edge of the sidewalk and not thrown out on the street.
The borough also advised when clearing a spot for parking of a vehicle or digging out a vehicle, it is not permitted to pile the snow on the street in front or behind your vehicle.
The snow should be piled on the edge of the sidewalk or property. Large piles of snow on the road are prohibited as it obstructs the view of vehicles pulling out from street corners. Putting the snow in the street also takes up additional parking spaces.
The borough said notification of snow emergency procedures would be broadcast on WTRN radio. Those with questions should call the borough at 684-1330.
School districts throughout the region reacted to the snow event. Both Tyrone and Bellwood-Antis canceled classes after originally issuing a two-hour delay. Both districts postponed all sports events for this evening. More information about the rescheduling of those events can be found in today’s Sports section.
The National Weather Service called for improving conditions with mostly clear skies and a low around 20 tonight. Winds should taper off this evening coming from the west at 10 to 14 mph. The forecast calls for mostly sunny skies and a high in the mid-30s on Saturday. The area is expected to see more snow on Sunday and Sunday night. However, accumulating snow is not forecast at this time.