York digs out as snow continues to fall
With the National Weather Service anticipating 10 to 18 inches of snow Wednesday, a York City official said declaring a snow emergency Tuesday was a good call.
“Declaring a snow emergency was the right decision, we think, because it got those cars off the street,” Phillip Given, chief of staff for York City Mayor Michael Helfrich, said Wednesday, March 21.
York County was hit by a winter storm to mark the start of spring, causing all county school districts to close and multiple municipalities to declare snow emergencies.
York City was one of those municipalities, as were North York, Felton and Glen Rock, to declare a snow emergency.
“The plows have been working nonstop since about 5 a.m.," Given said, adding that there were about 20 trucks on York City roads Wednesday. In a news release, York City said that the snow emergency will last until further notice, and probably until at least noon on Thursday, March 22.
York City: Given said the major thoroughfares in York City might have had some snow on them Wednesday, but they were generally passable.
“Essentially those streets have been passable and clear since 5 a.m. (Wednesday),” he said. Given said plows have been going through the city nonstop to maintain the main roads.
“If you would want to pull plows off the street for a little bit, that snow is coming right back," he said.
Given said Wednesday it was hard to tell when things will go back to normal in York City.
"Some of the historic storms have happened in just a few hours, whereas this has been consistent all day,” he said.
Several cars were towed Tuesday night because of the snow emergency, according to Given.
Given also said York City had to ask for additional salt from other municipalities. The city's salt dome, which should have had 700 tons of salt, had been damaged and only held 200 tons.
Trucking: The winter storm also was affecting the trucking business Wednesday.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation implemented a commercial truck ban on Interstate 83 starting Tuesday. As of Wednesday, that ban is still in effect.
Sandy Walker of Walker Transport, a freight broker based in Shrewsbury, said she was losing money Wednesday.
“We usually do some round trips between here and Scranton, Pennsylvania, and they couldn’t run today at all," she said. In addition to using I-83, the trucks also use Interstate 81.
She said the snow made it so some loads couldn't be picked up.
“The driver loses money, the company loses money — hopefully we’ll make up for that at the end of the week,” she said.
Parked near the West Manchester Town Center was Bobby Guyon, who was delivering a truckload for Alabama-based Timber Transport.
He was taking construction mats to a rail yard in West York from North Carolina. He was supposed to deliver the load Wednesday but had to stop because of the snow.
“I’m from Alabama, I don’t deal with snow that often,” he said.
Guyon said he picked up essential items at the Walmart and hoped he would be able to drop the load off Thursday morning.
From there he will be headed to Ohio, he said. But Wednesday, he said he expected to spend the rest of the day stopped.
“I’m not as prepared as I’d like to be ... but I'll manage,” he said.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.