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'Stay put': Forecasters say York County could see a foot of snow by Tuesday

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Rutter's employee Katie Smith spreads salt outside the New Freedom convenience store after snow began falling Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. York County is under a winter storm warning until Tuesday morning. Bill Kalina photo

York County residents should trade traveling for cozying up by the fire as Sunday's snowstorm is expected to continue well into Monday night or Tuesday morning, forecasters said.

A few inches of snow had accumulated in the southcentral Pennsylvania region by Sunday afternoon, and snow was expected to continue as late as early Tuesday morning, with accumulations up to a foot, according to Thomas Kines, a senior meteorologist for AccuWeather.

With the snow showing no signs of letting up, meteorologists warn that drivers should avoid the roads as the snowstorm brings slick and dangerous conditions with it.

"If you have the option, it's certainly best and safest to stay put and stay in your house," Kines said. "The roads are not going to be in good shape."

More:PennDOT reduces speed limits on I-83, Route 30 and other highways, restricts vehicles

In anticipation of the storm, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation has implemented safety precautions, including reducing the speed limits on highways.

The speed limit is reduced to 45 mph on Interstate 83, Route 30 and Route 15 in York County.

The restriction also affects these highways: I-81, I-283, Route 22, I-78 from I-81 to mile marker 10, Route 222, Route 283, Route 322 and Route 581.

"Right now, we are seeing wet conditions and freezing temperatures throughout south-central Pennsylvania," said Dave Thompson, a spokesperson for PennDOT, via email. "We have plenty of salt and anti-skid, and our equipment is in good working order."

Vehicle restrictions went into place Sunday afternoon on I-83, with motorcycles, tractors carrying empty trailers, and passenger vehicles pulling trailers among those banned from the interstate, PennDOT announced.

By Monday night, Kines predicts, roughly a foot of snow will be on the ground in York County.

"There's going to be times tonight and tomorrow where it's not doing much and it's snowing lightly," Kines said Sunday. "And there will be times when snow is coming down pretty hard."

More:York County municipalities declare snow emergencies, school districts go remote

Several York County municipalities have declared snow emergencies, and some school districts have gone remote for Monday.

As snow continues to fall in the region, PennDOT crews will keep monitoring the situation.

"Our crews are out in shifts and will work through the storm and beyond until roads are cleared," Thompson said.

Denise Lessner of New Freedom passes the Northern Central Railway in the borough while running with her dog, Ralphie, during a snow squall Sunday, Jan. 31, 2021. She said she was training for a 20-mile run later this year. York County is under a winter storm warning until Tuesday morning. Bill Kalina photo

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.