Sunday, July 13, 2014





Snow no problem for much of area


March 16. 2013 8:12PM
MATT HUGHES

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The winter storm that belted parts of the East Coast with as much as 3 feet of snow Friday evening into Saturday largely spared Northeastern Pennsylvania.


National Weather Service weather-spotters reported snowfall accumulations between 4 and 6 inches around Luzerne County. Spotters reported 4 inches in Lehman Township; 5.5 inches in Wilkes-Barre, Laurel Run and Duryea; 5.7 inches in Drums and 6.1 inches in Wapwallopen.


Mark Pellerito, meteorologist for the National Weather Service at Binghamton, said the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area fell at a pinch point where the two storms that brought major snowfall around the Northeast converged.


To the north and west of the region, a low pressure system swinging down from the Great Lakes dropped 10 inches on New Milford in Susquehanna County and up to 10 inches in parts of Broome County, N.Y. But that storm arrived in Luzerne County later in the day Friday, by which point much of its energy had transferred to the nor'easter that dropped more than a foot of snow in parts of New Jersey and eastern New York.


Area institutions that prepped to deal with the storm's outcome reported a relatively light and brief impact.


While dozens of flights into and out of the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport in Pittston Township were canceled Friday, regular service had resumed there by Saturday afternoon. The airport reported only one canceled arrival, from Chicago, and one canceled departure, to Newark, after noon on Saturday. Several delays also were reported because of weather or air traffic congestion.


Martz Trailways in Wilkes-Barre reported its first two departures of the day were cancelled, but regular bus service had resumed by 8 a.m.


James May, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation District 4, described the blizzard as a storm that everybody was able to get ahead of.


The department dispatched 200 vehicles to clear and spread salt on roadways within the six-county district, and had ample supplies of road salt and brine available because of warmer temperatures earlier in the season, May said.


The district considered closing parts of Interstate 84 prior to the storm's arrival, but elected not to because the storm arrived later than was forecast, May said. PennDOT shut its emergency operations center at 2 a.m. Saturday, after snowfall had tapered off.


The district received some reports of minor crashes where people slid off the road, but no major accidents on state roadways and interstates in Luzerne County, May said.


A Luzerne County 911 supervisor said there were some minor fender benders on local and state roadways overnight and Saturday morning, but no accidents involving serious injuries.


Wilkes-Barre spokesman Drew McLaughlin said city public works crews began clearing roadways at 3:30 p.m. Friday and worked through the night in 16-hour shifts. They spread about 300 tons of salt on roads and sidewalks, he said. McLaughlin expected work to continue through Saturday evening.


Electric utilities in the region reported no significant service disruptions from the storm.


Joseph Swope, spokesman for UGI Utilities, said the utility's power network suffered several small outages, all impacting fewer than 50 customers and all of short duration.


The utility placed additional field crews on alert and increased call center staffing in case of potential power outages, he said, but they were largely not needed.


PPL Electric Utilities reported that no customers lost power in Luzerne County because of the storm, and no significant outages impacted surrounding counties.




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