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Development & Transportation

Winter Storm Fizzles, Bringing More Rain Than Snow

Mark Nootbaar
90.5 WESA

Temperatures remained above freezing much longer into the night Tuesday than expected, bringing more rain than snow to southwestern Pennsylvania.

However, it was enough to prompt the Pittsburgh Public School District to issue a two-hour delay.  Several other schools in the county followed suit.

By the time most alarm clocks were going off the rain had turned back into snow, but road conditions throughout Allegheny County were just wet for the start of the morning commute.

“We had crews over night, a full crew, in each of the counties (Allegheny, Beaver and Lawrence) addressing the problems, and they will continue on through the remainder of the storm,” said Steve Cowen, PennDOT District 11 spokesperson.

Cowen said the further north you go the more snow the plows and salt trucks were battling. 

“In Lawrence County we do have some roadways that are snow covered and obviously some slushy conditions as well, but the interstates, 376 and 79 and Route 422 are clear and wet at this time,” Cowen said around 6:15 a.m.

The National Weather Service says Lawrence County picked up seven inches of snow in the last 24 hours.

Cambria and Somerset County saw the rain begin to turn to snow just as the school buses were hitting the roads. PennDOT Distict 9 spokesperson Tara Henry said roads remained wet with the biggest problems being downed trees and power lines. 

Several schools in the more mountainous areas of the state opted to stay closed Wedneday.

Travelers further east did not fair as well overnight. 

Heavy rains were said to be a factor in a deadly crash near Philadelphia where flood warning have been posted. A multi-vehicle crash for a time completely closed the westbound lanes of the Schuylkill Expressway — Interstate 76.

Earlier, all eastbound lanes of the highway were closed due to flooding.