POTTSTOWN PA – To keep readers up-to-speed on weather developments involving Tuesday’s (Feb. 13, 2024) winter storm, Travels With The Post will post news items on its local impact as they become available.
Snow Looks Pretty, But Beware! It’s Very Wet and Heavy
SANATOGA PA – The snow has stopped across much of Montgomery, Berks and Chester counties. For many property owners, however, the work to remove it has just begun … and it represents REAL work.
Several weather forecasters, throughout Tuesday morning, have referred to this storm as delivering “heart-attack snow.” The name fits: the precipitation is laden with water (above), and is very heavy to lift of move.
If you can avoid both, do so. Otherwise, you may strain your body, including your heart, no matter how fit you may be. That outcome is often problematic.
Lower Salford Declares Township ‘Snow Emergency’
LOWER SALFORD TOWNSHIP PA – A snow emergency declared in Lower Salford Township by its officials, according to an e-mail notice received Tuesday at 11:28 a.m., will remain in effect until tonight at 7.
According to its ordinance, residents on routes posted as “snow emergency streets” must ensure their vehicles are off the street, or they may be ticketed or towed. All residents should remove any type of sporting equipment, trash receptacles, recycling bins, and decorations from the township right-of-way … considered at least 10 or more feet away from the curb.
Pottstown Trash Pick-Ups Postponed by Winter Storm
POTTSTOWN PA – Trash collections in Pottstown will be delayed by one day because of Tuesday’s winter storm, the borough reported. As a result, trash collections normally made:
- Tuesday will be collected on Wednesday;
- Wednesday, on Thursday;
- Thursday, on Friday; and
- Friday, on Saturday.
Police: Poor Driving Conditions Closed Eagleville Road
LOWER PROVIDENCE TOWNSHIP PA – Due to what the Lower Providence Police Department described on its Facebook page as “dangerous road conditions” the entire length of Eagleville Road was temporarily closed Tuesday shortly after 9 a.m. A potential date and time for its re-opening were not mentioned.
“The road conditions throughout the area are very poor; please consider staying home,” police urged township residents. The township encompasses all or parts of Collegeville, Yerkes, Arcola, Audubon, Trooper, Eagleville, and Fairview Village.
A township fire company traffic truck on Tuesday morning kept prospective drivers away from Eagleville Road, at its intersection with South Park Road, with its position taking up portions of two lanes, a commenter’s photo shows on the police department Facebook page.
Photo by Travels With The Post
Speed Lowered to 45 MPH On U.S. Routes 422, 22
KING OF PRUSSIA PA – Near the height of Tuesday’s winter blast – as the heaviest snow fell, at the rate of about one inch every hour – the District 6 office of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation in King of Prussia reduced speed limits to 45 miles per hour (m.p.h.) on U.S. Routes 422, 202 (in Chester County), and several other state highways.
The decision was made, it said in an e-mail, “due to the severity” of the storm.
Speed limits of 45 m.p.h. also were imposed on Interstate 76 from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to New Jersey; the entire length of Interstate 295; Interstate 476 from the Pennsylvania Turnpike to Interstate 95; U.S. Routes 1 and 30; and state Routes 63 and 309.
Added: PennDOT lifted all weather-related traffic restrictions on earlier mentioned highways, and others, Tuesday at 12:19 p.m.
Pottstown Area Rapid Transit Cancels Tuesday Buses
POTTSTOWN PA – Although it had hoped to offer public transportation Tuesday by 10 a.m. across its routes in Pottstown and elsewhere (see below), Pottstown Area Rapid Transit reported by e-mail at 8:25 a.m. it would not resume operations until Wednesday (Feb. 14, 2024).
With weather conditions worsening, the transit service decided to play it safe and keep its buses off the roads. Its Wednesday runs, it noted, will be “pending road conditions.”
Bundling Against the Snow? Protect Your Dog, Too
South Carolina veterinarian and author Dr. Julie Buzby, in an e-mail, urges dog owners to protect their pets during the winter storm, particularly in light of the heavy snowfall and cold temperatures.
- Buy a sweater or coat for your dog to protect it from cold temperatures, especially if the dog has short-fur;
- Use properly fitted boots to protect your dog’s paws;
- Shorten your walks in very cold weather;
- Check under your car before starting the engine to ensure an animal hasn’t taken shelter beneath it;
- Use pet-safe de-icing products;
- Avoid frozen ponds, lakes, and streams;
- Check your dog’s paws frequently for signs of irritation or injury; and
- Wash your pet’s paws to remove packed snow, salt, and de-icing chemicals after walks.
Photo by Hay Dmitriy on Deposit Photos, used under license
Pottstown Area Rapid Transit Delays Service Start
POTTSTOWN PA – Pottstown Area Rapid Transit has delayed the Tuesday start of its daily bus and other transportation routes until 10 a.m., due to the inclement weather. “Stay tuned” to the Pottstown Borough website, it added, “for further updates.”
The decision to delay was initially announced Monday (Feb. 12) at 8:31 p.m.
Berks County Offices, Courts Plan Later Openings
READING PA – Because of the weather, Berks County officials on its website reported county offices and courts would delay opening Tuesday until 10 a.m.
Department heads and row officers, it said, “should manage staffing to ensure the county court system and county departments open to the public at the appropriate time.” County departments with around-the-clock operations were told to follow “established policies and protocols.”
The public was urged to monitor e-mails, the county website, or the “Berks Alert” system for further developments.
Added: Separately, Allentown-based WFMZ-TV reported at 7:28 a.m. that the Lehigh Valley court system was closed for the day.
Hundreds of PennDOT Trucks Expected for Clean Up
PHILADELPHIA PA – Hundreds of Pennsylvania Department of Transportation trucks, equipped with snow plows and road salting equipment, are expected to be on state-owned roads throughout the day for clean-up and maintenance chores, Philadelphia-based 6ABC-TV reported at 6:55 a.m.
Road crews “are ready to contend with whatever this storm system delivers to the region,” its report added.
Unfortunately, PennDOT was unable to prepare roads for the snowstorm as it usually does. Earliest weather predictions indicated, and later proved accurate, that the storm would start as rain. “We didn’t do much pre-treating of the roads, because that would’ve gotten washed away,” a PennDOT official told the station’s reporters.
Montgomery County Dispatchers Report Many Accidents
EAGLEVILLE PA – Montgomery County emergency dispatchers, at 6:20 a.m., were reporting 10 separate traffic accidents over a period of only 50 minutes Tuesday morning. Most are presumably related to current weather conditions.
Accidents were noted in Upper Providence at 6:20 a.m., Limerick at 6:17 a.m., Upper Providence at 6:10 a.m., Upper Pottsgrove at 6:06 a.m., New Hanover at 6:05 a.m., Hatfield at 5:55 a.m., Lower Providence at 5:58 a.m., Horsham at 5:49 a.m., Lower Salford at 5:48 a.m., and Whitpain at 5:31 a.m.
Photo by ambrozinio on Deposit Photos, used under license
Speed, Travel Restrictions In Place on I-78, I-176 in Berks County
ALLENTOWN PA – Due to the severity of the storm, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said it is “temporarily reducing the speed limit” on several roadways in its District 5, which covers Eastern Central Pennsylvania and includes Berks County.
PennDOT urged drivers to avoid unnecessary travel. Those who must head out, is added, “will see speeds reduced to 45 mph” on Interstate 78 in Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties.
Added: Interstate 176 in Berks County is similarly affected, in a later announcement issued at 7:08 a.m.
Vehicle limits also apply on I-78 in the same counties. PennDOT has restricted the travel of these vehicles on the highway until further notice:
- Tractors without trailers; tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded enclosed trailers, open trailers or tank trailers;
- Tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers;
- Tractors towing loaded tandem trailers without chains or alternate traction devices;
- Enclosed unloaded or lightly loaded cargo delivery trucks or box trucks that meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle;
- Passenger vehicles such as cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks towing trailers;
- Recreational vehicles and motorhomes;
- School buses, commercial buses and motor coaches; and
Heavy Snow Predicted, with Totals of 4-8 Inches in Berks, Montgomery
POTTSTOWN PA – Heavy snow with total accumulations of 4-8 inches is predicted for Pottstown, Collegeville, Reading, and western Montgomery County, and all of Berks County, the National Weather Service said Tuesday at 2:54 a.m.
A winter storm warning, issued by the weather service and which remains in effect Tuesday until 3 p.m., said “hazardous conditions could impact the morning commute,” and added that “travel could be very difficult.”
“Particularly heavy snowfall will be possible around the time” that morning traffic usually picks up, the weather Service noted. It reported snowfall rates of more than 1 inch per hour were possible. “If you must travel,” it urged, “keep an extra flashlight, food, and water in your vehicle in case of an emergency.”
A half-hour later, at 3:31 a.m., the weather service followed its warning with an official hazardous weather outlook message that said probability for widespread hazardous weather beyond Tuesday evening “is low.”
Photo by Kate Novikova on Deposit Photos, used under license