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Traffic Stalled On McDade Expressway, Speed Limits Reduced On Highways

November 15, 2018

SCRANTON — Drivers should avoid the McDade Expressway heading toward the Abingtons as the storm dumping snow on the area has traffic stymied from South Abington Twp. to Mifflin Avenue in the city.

Motorists report being stuck on the expressway for hours, with some abandoning cars.

As today’s snowstorm worsened, the state Department of Transportation has now reduced speed limits on all interstates in Northeastern Pennsylvania.

PennDOT reduced the speed limit to 45 mph on Interstates 80, 81, 84 and 380.

The County of Lackawanna Transit System has suspended public and shared-ride bus service because of icy road conditions, COLTS spokeswoman Gretchen Wintermantel said.

Motorists should avoid unnecessary travel. Although PennDOT crews have been treating roads, the department’s primary goal is to keep roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow. PennDOT will continue to treat roads throughout the storm until precipitation stops and roads are clear.

Meanwhile, a power outage in the Green Ridge section of Scranton and Dunmore still has 346 customers without power as of 4:15 p.m., according to information posted online at PPL’s Outage Center website. PPL expects to restore power by 6 p.m. The cause of the outage is cited on the site as a tripped breaker or blown fuse.

The outage comes as the region’s first snowstorm of the season now is well under way.

Local emergency personnel services have been getting numerous reports of slick roads and vehicle accidents in parts of Lackawanna County, including in Scranton, Taylor, Carbondale, Dunmore and the Midvalley area.

Cloudy and cold weather will continue as snow is expected to pick up, according to AccuWeather.

Snow is falling now and is expected to change over to sleet and freezing rain later tonight.

A total accumulation of 3 to 5 inches is expected by Friday morning.

Event closures and road restrictions throughout the area from the developing storm include:

n The Lackawanna Valley Conservancy and Lackawanna River Conservation Association cancelled a cleanup of the Bull’s Head Landing scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 17.

n The Pennsylvania Turnpike has temporarily lowered the speed limit to 45 mph on much of its system, including the Northeastern Extension (I-476) from the Philadelphia area to the Lehigh Valley Interchange (exit 57) in Lehigh County.

n The Greater Carbondale YMCA canceled all of tonight’s programs and fitness classes.

Meanwhile, most area schools had early dismissals and most after-school activities are cancelled.

n Scranton School District: Elementary, no p.m. preschool; afternoon CTC canceled; and all after-school activities canceled.

n Abington Heights School District: there is no afternoon kindergarten.

n North Pocono: All after school activities are cancelled.

n Valley View School District: All after school activities cancelled.

n Old Forge: Friday will be a regular school day. Conferences scheduled for tonight and Friday have changed. Rescheduled dates are Nov. 29 (Evening Conf) and Nov. 30 (Daytime Conf).

n Western Wayne: After-school activities have been cancelled.

n Delaware Valley School District: All after-school activities and tonight’s school board meeting is canceled.

n Wallenpaupack: All after-school activities, including this evening’s performance of Honk, Jr., are cancelled. There will now be two performances of Honk, Jr. on Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

n Wayne Highlands School District: All after school activities are cancelled.

n Lackawanna College’s Scranton Campus, Hazleton Campus and Towanda Campus all closed at 12:30 p.m. All remaining classes will meet as scheduled at those campuses.

Contact the writer: jlockwood@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5185; @jlockwoodTT on Twitter

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