EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — Driving in these conditions is not easy, nor is it advised.
And Eyewitness News saw plenty of stopped traffic tonight because of stuck trucks or just poor conditions on the roads. We began our coverage in Luzerne County scoping out the hardest hit areas in our region.
Snow came down fast over Luzerne County Monday afternoon. In Hazleton, families braced for the storm knowing it was just the beginning.
“I took a lot of blankets out. I had to shovel for like two or three hours. It’s a lot of cold weather,” Angel Montalvo of Hazleton said. “I went to go buy them hot cocoa. We’re about to go run a little bit more and then have a family night and get warm.”
The storm caused dangerous road conditions. PennDOT restricted major highways, banning commercial trucks and reducing speed limits to 45 MPH.
“Did you have to drive at all?” “I actually drove. It was a little crazy, a little slippery, you just have to take your time,” Montalvo said.
20 minutes outside of Hazleton in the borough of Freeland, Mayor John Budda declared a state of emergency as well as a travel restriction. All non-emergency vehicles must stay off the roads until the storm passes.
“Everybody’s got to lay low for a little bit and let the street guys do their jobs and clear the road so things can get back to normal,” John Stefanik of Freeland said.
People who live in Freeland, like Stefanik, are used to intense winter weather thanks to their elevation. Freeland is the highest borough in Luzerne County. Locals know how to make the best of a snow storm.
“We’ll have snowball fights or just slide around,” 12-year-old Jaden Ten of Freeland said.
“Check on your neighbors, the elderly especially. Make sure they have food and their medications and if they need a hand shoveling, you shovel them out. It’s a pretty good community. Everybody works together,” Stefanik said.
The snow was most intense in Carbon and Monroe Counties.