911 reports dozens of accidents and stuck vehicles
A cold mix of ice and snow blanketed roadways throughout Somerset County Thursday. The temperature hovered around freezing and left thick ice and slush.
Somerset County Control said 10 accidents occurred Thursday because of the snow. At least 15 other vehicles were stuck on roadways. The disabled vehicles on Stoystown Road, Berlin Plank Road and others trapped traffic, and emergency crews closed portions of roadways to free those motorists. As of Thursday night, all of those roadways were reopened. The snow tapered off late Thursday, but AccuWeather senior meteorologist Bob Smerbeck predicted more snow for Friday.
“When all is said and done, about 6 inches of snow will accumulate with a little ice in there,” he said. “Kind of like a sandwich.”
Thursday’s storm was caused by a system rising from the Gulf of Mexico that mixed with cold air from Canada.
Local schools closed and 500,000 people throughout the Northeast were without power. Up to 16 inches of snow and a half-inch of ice fell in some states.
“The biggest problem with this storm was how cold it got prior to this storm,” Smerbeck said. “Normally, you have highs in the mid- to upper 40s. . . . the last couple of days it’s been in the low- to mid-30s. The ground has gotten cold.”
Smerbeck said that Central City and Bedford received 10 inches. Champion received 2.5 inches.
More snow will fall before Friday morning, and Smerbeck said that windy conditions will push the fresh snow onto roads, but above-freezing temperatures should melt most of it.
“It’ll be a blustery cold day with light flurries,” he said. “The snow will taper off before daybreak and, once we hit midmorning, there’ll be a little bit of light flurry activity.”