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Butler County survives the 'snowpocalypse'

January 13, 2018 News Extra

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Clinton Twp homeowner Hope Hull makes short work of Friday night's snow fall late Saturday morning.

Ya want winter weather? Ya got it. The whole shabang.

“That was a nice party Mother Nature threw at us,” Bruce Hartman, PennDOT's acting Butler County maintenance director, said about 11 a.m. today.

“Flooding first, then freezing rain, then sleet and then snow to top it off. That was a lot.”

Between 6 to 8 inches of snow fell in the county. Before that, a little more than an inch of rain, said John Darnley, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh.

Snowpocalypse? Maybe. Ya think it's over? Not quite yet.

The weather service has re-issued a flood warning for Butler County until 5:15 p.m. today due to the prior rainfall, the overnight snow and the coming snow melt.

State and local road crews are also concerned that tonight's predicted near zero temperatures could turn the melting snow to ice and make for treacherous driving.

“That's what we're keeping our eye on,” Hartman said. “We've called out a full afternoon crew and hopefully we'll get everything cleaned up before dark.”

While roads were hazardous with ice and snow accumulation, the Butler County Communications Center reported that Friday night into this morning was fairly uneventful.

Dispatchers and police credited that to people heeding weather warnings and staying indoors.

State Police in Butler reported no serious traffic accidents and no weather-related emergencies from Friday night through this morning

”It's been pretty slow this morning,” said Cpl. Scott Kemling. “I think we had one skid off on the interstate (79) but that's about it.”

Troopers reported no road closings but police reported some secondary and back roads were not in the best condition, snow wise.

“The (plows) are still trying to play catch up,” Kemling said.

PennDOT's entire fleet of 41 plows hit the roads about 5 p.m. Friday and will remain out until dark, at least.

He said crews used a 50/50 mix of salt and anti-skid material, which appeared to have worked. To that end, Mother Nature helped.

“The sun came out,” Hartman, “and that's good. The sun is our best agent for melting snow.”

The National Weather Service is forecasting only a slight chance this afternoon and tonight. Temperatures could dip to a low of 2 degrees.

On Sunday, look for mostly sunny skies with a high near 16. Wind chill values are predicted as low as 8 below.

A low of around 4 is expected Sunday night with wind chill values about 4 below. No snow, however, is forecast.

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