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Overnight snow keeps road crews busy

March 21, 2018 News Extra

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So this is spring?

Commuters were welcomed this morning to the effects of a storm bringing with it snow.

A winter — not spring — weather advisory remains in effect for Butler County until 8 p.m. today. The advisory means there will be periods of snow that will cause primarily travel difficulties.

Two inches or so of snow had fallen on the county as of 6 a.m., according to the National Weather Service in Pittsburgh.

“It's that heavy, wet snow,” said Middlesex Township police officer Randy Davison, who just completed his shift at 7 a.m.

He said he started at 11 p.m. Tuesday and by 5 p.m. he called out the township's road department.

“At 4:50 a.m., he said, “it started getting bad.”

But not bad enough to cause many traffic mishaps.

“It's not too busy,” said a dispatcher at the Butler County Communications Center reported about 6:45 a.m. “There's been just a few minor accidents here and there.”

The roads pretty much are “spotty and wet,” said Chuck Kiley, PennDOT's Butler County assistant maintenance manager about 7:15 a.m.

PennDOT has 38 plows out now. Crews started hitting the roads in and around Butler about midnight. Plows headed out for the Saxonburg area about 1 a.m. and in Cranberry and Zelienople about 2 a.m.

Kiley said drivers are keeping ahead of the snow. Turning lanes, he admitted, are still a bit of a problem.

“The temperatures are working out for us,” he said. That is, helping the salt do its job to melt the snow on the road.

The weather service is forecasting daytime snow accumulation of 1 to 3 inches. The high temperature will be near 37.

Little if any snow is predicted for tonight or Thursday. Tonight's low will be around 21 and Thursday's high will be near 36.

The snow closed the Butler, Mars, Seneca Valley, Freeport, Slippery Rock, Moniteau and Karns City public schools, along with Butler Catholic, Butler Wesleyan Academy, Portersville Christian School, Butler Montessori School and Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic. Butler County Community College also closed Wednesday.

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