Wilkes-Barre, other communities preparing for approaching storm

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WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Municipalities in our area are bracing for the impending snow.

And locals headed to the hardware store for supplies. Snow is on the way and municipalities are making sure they have enough staff and supplies as well as prioritizing areas to plow.

It’s that time of year again when we dust off our winter gear in anticipation of a snowstorm. And local municipalities are doing that while focusing on safety. A big part of that, is their ability to plow the roads.

“We have a DPW of 38 people, the majority of those people will be out working the streets,” Wilkes-Barre Mayor George Brown said.

For the city of Wilkes-Barre, the Department of Public Works must prepare to plow 600 streets, 137 miles of road. Mayor Brown says luckily, they’re adequately staffed.

“They’re trained how to drive the trucks, and they know what to do in snowstorms,” Mayor Brown said.

Pittston Mayor Mike Lombardo tells Eyewitness News despite COVID-19, they’re fully staffed and ready for the snow. Both Wilkes-Barre and Pittston have “more than enough salt.”

Locals are also planning for the winter weather ahead.

“Especially today, getting closer to when the storm is supposed to start, we’ve gone through a lot of ice melt, we’re starting to clear out of some shovels,” Driscolls Home Center manager Scott Sharrow said.

Sharrow says the winter weather warning has people buying up things like gloves, hot hands, snow blowers and supplies to heat their home. Sharrow expects a rush on Tuesday, but they’ll have to stick to 50 percent capacity under the new COVID restrictions.

“We’re going to be making sure we have everything full, ready, so when people come in, they can get what they need and be on their way,” Sharrow said.

Mayor Brown says the city will have 16 trucks on the road at a time and two on standby. City officials have a planning meeting Tuesday night.

Mayor Brown says priorities are hospitals, bridges, then neighborhoods. Some communities are dealing with staffing issues due to COVID-19 and asked residents to be patient because it may take longer to plow the roads.

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