Pennsylvania Declares State Of Emergency In Advance Of Winter Storm

In advance of an expected winter storm, Governor Tom Wolf signed a state of emergency declaration to allow for increased assistance with storm-related needs.  You can view the declaration by clicking here.

According to a statement from the Governor, “The commonwealth…will impose speed restrictions and a ban on all commercial traffic, including buses on most interstates and the Pennsylvania Turnpike.”

“The commercial vehicle ban will be in place between 12 Noon Saturday and 12 Noon Sunday on all interstates and the Turnpike, except for Interstate 95 in southeastern Pennsylvania,” the statement continued.

You can view a map that details the roadways with restrictions by clicking here.

“We want to be aggressive in managing this storm, during which snowfall rates could exceed one to two inches per hour,” Governor Wolf said.  “Our top concern is the safety of residents.  If you do not have to travel during the storm, please avoid it.  Please heed warnings from emergency responders and personnel, and remember to check on your neighbors, especially the elderly.”

According to the statement, “The declaration of an emergency allows for additional help from neighboring states and standing up the Pennsylvania National Guard to ensure a swift response to possible changing priorities, and the vehicle bans will allow our snow plow crews to have a clearer route to keeping these interstates open despite the expected severe weather.”

The statement does note that “the declaration does not restrict citizens from travel on commonwealth roadways, but motorists should be aware of any restrictions that are in place and heed the guidance of local authorities.”

Locally, the most impacted roadway will be the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

“Speed limits will be restricted to 45 mph on the interstates and expressways as the storm progresses,” the statement continued.  “The Pennsylvania Department Transportation (PennDOT), the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) and the Pennsylvania State Police have been coordinating their planning in advance of the storm and will be staffing the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center (CRCC) throughout the duration of the storm.”

“Travel will be very challenging this weekend with the combination of heavy snow, high winds, sleet, freezing and plain rain and then a rapid drop in temperatures on Sunday,” said PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards.  “If you must travel, please check 511PA for the latest conditions and be prepared in case extreme conditions trigger long delays on your route.”



The photograph is provided courtesy of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, 2019.