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Environment & Energy

Saturn Drops 6 Inches of Snow on Pittsburgh Region

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Russ Lyod
90.5 WESA

By mid morning Wednesday, the snow had moved out of the Pittsburgh region and most of the city’s streets were treated.  Pittsburgh Public Works crews used 62 trucks overnight and into the morning to clear the blanket of heavy wet snow.   

Public Works Director Rob Kaczorowski reminded city residents to be careful when they start to clean their cars, sidewalks and drive ways and asks that home owners not just to drop the snow anywhere.

“Please do not put it back in the street, pile it up at the end of your driveway or into your yard,” said Kaczorowski.  “If you are parked on the street please do not put it back [on the street] but keep it on the other side of your vehicle.

Power companies are reporting scattered outages mostly due to snow-covered tree limbs that fell onto power lines.  Service is expected to be restored by the end of the day. In the meantime, Equitable Gas is reminding residents without power not to use their ovens and ranges to heat their homes while their power is out.   

Equitable advises all of its customers who have seen heavy snow to keep all natural gas vents unobstructed by snow.  The utility reminds home owners that some direct venting and high efficiency appliances have side wall vents and air intakes that could become obstructed during heavy snow.

Weather stations throughout southwestern Pennsylvania are reporting accumulations of as little as 4 inches to as much as a foot.

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Credit Russ Lyod / 90.5 WESA
90.5 WESA
South Hills residents found nearly five inches on the ground when they wok up for work Wednesday

UPDATED 8:00am:

Pennsylvanians are digging out from snowstorm Saturn this morning.  Several inches are on the ground in the city with more being found in the suburbs.  The highest measurements are being seen in the South Hills. 

Pittsburgh Public schools have canceled classes for the day and many other districts in southwestern Pennsylvania are either canceling or delaying class.  Some area businesses and organizations also are closed including the Pittsburgh Zoo.

Pittsburgh Public Works Director Rob Kaczorowski said his crews were out over night working on the main streets and were able to get ahead of the storm.  “Right now (7:00am) 99 percent of our equipment is in our secondaries.” 

Kaczorowski said he expects all of the secondary and tertiary streets to be treated by this afternoon. “We had a few minor break downs with our plows, an incident with a plows where we had to go in and do some repair work on it, but the resources are their and then men are working.”  The city has 62 trucks on the streets today.

The snow gets deeper as you head south of Pittsburgh or into the Laurel Highlands.  The National Weather Service is forecasting up to a foot for the higher elevations between Harrisburg and Pittsburgh. In all, it is making for a messy morning commute across the state.

Credit Mark Nootbaar / 90.5 WESA
90.5 WESA
A private contractor clears a parking lot in the North Hills of Pittsburgh before dawn Wednesday March 6, 2013 as snow from winter storm Saturn continues to fall.

PennDOT safety officer Steve Cowen said state roads in Allegheny and Beaver Counties had all been treated in time for the morning commute and most motorists were greeted with roads that were wet but clear.  “We were fortunate that the storm hit over night, there were few cars on the roadways allowing our crews to do their work,” said Cowen.

A winter storm warning remains in effect for most southern Pennsylvania counties including Allegheny, Somerset and Cambria. The storm is expected to taper off throughout the day.