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11/30/2019

Gov. Wolf: As Powerful Winter Storms Reach Pennsylvania, Travelers Should Prepare and Heed Forecasts

​Harrisburg, PA – On the busiest travel weekend of the year and with ice and snow forecast tonight through Tuesday, Governor Tom Wolf is alerting all Pennsylvanians and travelers to the state to be prepared for potentially significant travel impacts.

“As always, the safety of everyone in the state is my priority,” Gov. Wolf said. “The Thanksgiving holiday weekend will end with some potentially dangerous winter weather, making safety and preparedness even more important as folks travel. Please heed the advice of weather forecasters and emergency professionals and consider altering travel plans if necessary. I want everyone to have had a wonderful holiday weekend and safe travel is tantamount to that goal.”

Beginning in southwestern Pennsylvania this evening and traveling northeast, much of the state will feel the effects of two powerful winter storms that have made their way across the country, bringing with them snow, ice, heavy winds and difficult travel conditions.

The most significant impact of the storm will be felt in the northern tier to the Laurel Highlands across southern Pennsylvania, but all parts of the state could experience sleet and freezing rain, power outages and downed trees depending on how temperatures settle in overnight.

From Sunday evening through Tuesday morning, much of the state will see snowfall with northeast Pennsylvania experiencing the highest amounts, potentially topping 10 inches before the storm exits the state Tuesday morning.

"With a storm like this, a difference of just a few degrees can quickly change weather and road conditions," said Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency Director Randy Padfield. "Make sure you have emergency supplies in your car if you must travel, and stay in touch with neighbors so you can help each other if you lose power."

Gov. Wolf asked Pennsylvanians to please stay home if possible, but if you must travel, check available PennDOT and Pennsylvania Turnpike resources for the latest information, consider getting ahead of the storm by leaving earlier or alter your route to avoid impacted areas.

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 950 traffic cameras. 511PA is also available through a free smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.

For more information on PennDOT’s winter preparations and additional winter-driving resources for motorists, visit the department’s winter website, www.PennDOT.gov/winter.

For a list of up-to-the-minute travel advisories for the Pennsylvania Turnpike, visit here or view a travel conditions map to help you safely plan your trip.

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) advised Pennsylvanians to write down, print or save toll-free outage hotlines for your electric utility and/or your natural gas utility, which are listed on your monthly bills and posted on the PUC website. The PUC also encourages Pennsylvanians to call their utility company if an outage occurs and not to assume someone else has already done so.

Gov. Wolf also reminded Pennsylvanians that the application period is open for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) to help families living on low incomes pay their heating bills in the form of a cash grant. 

“Making sure all Pennsylvanians are safe and healthy is my top priority every day, but especially as we conclude the busiest travel weekend of the year,” said Gov. Wolf. “I cannot stress enough the importance for everyone to heed weather forecasts, listen to directions from emergency officials, plan accordingly, and check in on your neighbors, especially the elderly.”

MEDIA CONTACTS:

J.J. Abbott, Governor’s Office, jjabbott@pa.gov
L. Paul Vezzetti, PEMA, lvezzetti@pa.gov

Erin Waters-Trasatt, ewaterstra@pa.gov or Alexis Campbell, alecampbel@pa.gov, PennDOT

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