Governor Wolf Announces a State of Emergency Through Existing Disaster Declaration Proclamation
Harrisburg, PA – As another winter storm takes aim at Pennsylvania, Governor Tom Wolf announced staffing at the 24-hour Commonwealth Watch and Warning Center at the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency is currently elevated to an enhanced watch, which means extra people working to monitor conditions and county needs. Motorists are strongly encouraged to delay all unnecessary travel and heed any local-level roadway restrictions that may be in place.
“We are working with state agency partners to make sure county emergency management coordinators have quick and unfettered access to state resources as they’re needed,” said Governor Wolf said. “We also cannot emphasize enough the need for the public to take these storm warnings seriously, stay tuned to local media for weather updates and avoid any unnecessary travel.”
Starting this morning 7 a.m., the Commonwealth Response Coordination Center will be fully staffed with personnel from the following state departments: PA State Police, PA Turnpike, Transportation, Military and Veterans Affairs, Health, Human Services, Conservation and Natural Resources, General Services, Environmental Protection, and Office of Administration, as well as the American Red Cross and the Civil Air Patrol.
The disaster emergency declaration, better known as a State of Emergency, enables the commonwealth to bypass the time-consuming bidding process to more quickly procure resources as needed and to access federal aid or resources to respond to county and citizen needs.
The winter weather amendment includes the following counties: Berks, Bradford, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Columbia, Dauphin, Delaware, Lackawanna, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Luzerne, Monroe, Montgomery, Montour, Northampton, Northumberland, Philadelphia, Pike, Schuylkill, Sullivan, Susquehanna, Wayne, Wyoming and York.
The heaviest snows are expected to fall during the day Wednesday. In anticipation, PennDOT say it’s moving five plow trucks and two graders along with 18 employees into Pike County to address any issues on Interstate 84, as well as 20 plow trucks and two graders along with 46 employees to address any issues on Interstates 80, 380, and Route 33 in Monroe County and the Lehigh Valley. The crews are being moved from western Pennsylvania to assist in storm response.
PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms urging motorists to “Know Before You Go” by checking conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information, and access to more than 850 traffic cameras. Users can also see plow truck statuses and travel alerts along a specific route using the “Check My Route” tool.
511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts accessible on the 511PA website.