AP NEWS

Accidents all over Somerset County because of snow

March 4, 2019

There were nine reported car accidents from noon Sunday until 7:30 p.m. as a result of the poor weather that left snow on most roads in the county. Six of those crashes were with reported injuries, according to Joel Landis, director of Somerset County Emergency Services.

“It looks like county-wide, there were multiple car accidents. Not really in a specific area,” Landis said. “It’s from Meyersdale to Windber. With this storm, we saw a heavy wet snow on the roadways. That’s going to be impacting us until the morning commute. People should be cautious and take extra precautions in the morning to allow more time. Leave early. There is going to be some weather that will impact their morning commute.”

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation had 43 trucks out, according to District Manager Joe Kelemen, who also said that more snow fell in the southern part of the county.

“It’s about the same type of event we’ve seen,” Kelemen said. “We’ve had more ice this winter than last year. The storm that is presently occurring is a wetter snow which leads to more slippery type of conditions. It’s not as dry. But we’re treating the roadways according to the snow that is coming down.”

At 1:37 p.m. Somerset and Shanksville fire departments, and Somerset Ambulance were dispatched to an accident at the 110 mile marker on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. At 2:14 p.m. Garrett, Meyersdale, and Berlin fire departments, Meyersdale and Berlin Ambulance, and state police were dispatched to a vehicle accident at mile-marker 20 Northbound on Route 219.

At 2:42 p.m. Central City and New Baltimore fire departments, and state police were dispatched to a vehicle accident in the area of 569 Shawnee View Road, according to Somerset County Control.

At 2:58 p.m. Central City and New Baltimore fire departments, Somerset, Northern and Berlin EMS, and state police were dispatched to a vehicle accident on Route 30 between Hawks Nest Road and New Baltimore Road.

At 3:19 p.m. New Centerville & Rural Volunteer Fire Co., Somerset Ambulance and state police were dispatched to a vehicle accident in the area of 3385 Kingwood Road. At 3:14 p.m. Stoystown Volunteer fire company were dispatched for traffic control in the area of 6281 Lincoln Highway.

At 3:52 p.m. the Somerset Volunteer Fire Department, Somerset Borough Police, and Meyersdale and Boswell EMS were dispatched to a vehicle accident in the area of 1148 S. Edgewood Ave. At 4:40 p.m. Central City Fire Department, Northern EMS, and Pennsylvania State Police were dispatched for a car accident in the area of 5338 Dark Shade Drive. At 5:21 p.m. Hooversville Volunteer Fire Department was dispatched for traffic control in the 770 block range of Hooversville Road. At 5:23 p.m. Windber Fire Department, Northern EMS, and Windber Borough Police were dispatched to a vehicle accident at Ninth Street and Cambria Avenue.

Landis had a piece of advice for anyone driving in such conditions.

“A lot of people believe that since they have automatic headlights or daytime running lights that they are sufficient enough in these winter conditions to drive knowing that these automatic light features will be the safest for them,” Landis said. “But we want people to manually illuminate the headlights and tail-lights so people from behind can successfully see them during the reduced visibility, and make sure you have the brightest you can get.”

A.J. Jarosz, an observer for the National Weather Service, said that 4.7 inches of snow fell near his home in Glencoe as of 7 p.m. The county has seen 59 inches of snow thus far this year, which tracks around average. Rain has remained an issue.

“That was the big problem,” Jarosz said. “We had the snowfall totals. But the rainfall amounts really started kicking in. We had 27 inches above average last year, and the rainfall, for the whole year you should get 36 inches in a year.

“Last year we had 65.53 inches. That’s quite a bit of rain above normal. With this wet snow, we’ve had 21 inches of rain in four months. That’s also changing snow into rain. That’s a little high, but we’ve been getting these wet snows. It was exceedingly wet last year. The same damn thing is happening again.”