Band of snowshowers causes havoc
April 1, 2013

CRANBERRY TWP — A stubborn band of snow caused havoc for commuters in the southern half of Cranberry Township during today's morning rush, while those coming to work from the north saw bright sun and dry roads.

Multiple crashes and icy roads kept emergency services workers busy this morning from Rowan Road south, and many implored the 911 dispatch center to send state salt trucks to the area immediately to melt the slippery surface. A few roads were closed because they were impassable.

Lee Hendricks, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh, said a disturbance over the Great Lakes caused scattered bands of snow showers across the area this morning.

He said a band at 7:45 a.m. moved from the Lawrence and Mercer county border across Central Butler County and into Northern Armstrong County. That band continued to develop as it came south, Hendricks said, and at 8:30 a.m. stagnated over Northern Allegheny, Northwestern Westmoreland and Northern Beaver counties.

Hendricks said the icy road conditions were the result of snow melting on the roads and freezing as the band dumped snow.

Amy Marree, homeland security planner at the county 911 center, said seven to 10 accidents were reported in the Cranberry area during rush hour this morning. She said fortunately, only minor injuries were reported.

She said state police helped Cranberry Township officers respond to the many accidents, which occurred on Interstate 79, Route 19, the Pa. Turnpike, and various Cranberry Township roads.

Marree said dispatchers are accustomed to such weather events here.

“It comes and goes,” she said. “It's just a matter of when it's going to hit.”

Marree said as of 9:15 a.m., officers and crews from the township and state were mainly engaged in clean-up activities resulting from the snow.

Hendricks said the end is in sight regarding the winter that refuses to let go.

“Sunday and Monday, it's going to be in the low to mid 60s.”