Saturday, July 12, 2014

Snow blamed in 50 to 75 minor crashes in area

February 20. 2013 12:02AM
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A widespread winter storm that dumped snow over the Northeast and parts of Ohio on Saturday led to dozens of crashes and speed restrictions on Northeastern Pennsylvania roads.

The storm that was expected to drop up to 5 inches locally came just days after another storm moving from the nation's midsection hit the region.

Luzerne County 911 reported there were 50 to 75 snow-related crashes on Saturday, according to a 911 supervisor. There were no immediate reports of any serious injuries.

The state Department of Transportation earlier in the day had reduced the speed limit to 45 mph on Interstates 80, 81, 84 and 380 as well as several other routes in the region. The roads later were restored to their posted speed limits, said PennDOT spokesman James May.

The National Weather Service expected up to a foot of snow in parts of southern New England, with the heaviest snowfall possibly in Providence, R.I., and Boston, which declared parking bans to allow snow removal vehicles to clean the streets. Winter storm warnings were in effect in parts of those states and in Connecticut.

New York City and Philadelphia saw a mix of rain and snow as the storm moved in from the west. In Ohio, Dayton, Columbus and Cincinnati saw about 2 to 5 inches of snow by Saturday afternoon, the National Weather Service said.

Expect those accumulations to kind of work their way northeastward through much of New York state and much of New England, weather service meteorologist Brian Hurley said.

Drivers throughout the regions were warned to be cautious.

The speed limit on much of the Pennsylvania Turnpike across the state also was lowered from 65 mph to 45 mph.

About 20 vehicles piled up in a storm-related, chain-reaction crash on Interstate 93 in New Hampton, N.H., police said, and five people were injured.

Flights at Philadelphia's airport, mostly arrivals, were delayed about an hour, spokeswoman Stacy Jackson said.

Parts of southern Indiana saw 6 to 8 inches of snow from the storm, some in areas that had received more than a foot from a blizzard earlier in the week. That blizzard was part of a storm system that dumped more than a foot of snow in some places and has been blamed for at least 16 deaths. It also spawned more than a dozen tornadoes in Alabama, the National Weather Service said.

But Saturday's snow wasn't as heavy as that of the previous storm, the weather service said.

The National Weather Service in Binghamton, N.Y., earlier Saturday issued a hazardous weather outlook for the region that was in effect until 9 p.m.

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