State of emergency: Snowstorm, Pittsburgh style; impacts Carnegie Mellon University

Filed in Gather News Channel by on February 6, 2010 0 Comments

In response to the snow storm that swept across the region, Allegheny County declared a disaster emergency early Saturday morning. The county is requesting that all non-essential and non-emergency vehicles stay off the roadways.

The declaration enables the county to ask for assistance and funding from the state of Pennsylvania and the federal government, if needed. It also means the county can bypass standard procedures to hire temporary workers, rent equipment and purchase supplies and materials.

Other area counties and municipalities also declared emergencies, as well as the City of Pittsburgh.

So far we have 18″ of snow in Pittsburgh, a very rare occurrence. Listening to the police scanner last night, there were many accidents, and even police vehicles were stuck. Looking out my front window, there are 2′ snow drifts! There is no place to put the snow when you try to shovel it!

We’re just not used to this much snow!

Bus service was canceled around 11pm last night and so far this morning, only one route — between the East and West busways, was running. T light rail service has also shut down. (Those trolleys need snow plows!)

Duquesne Light Co. reported that approximately 51,000 customers in Allegheny and Beaver counties were without power Saturday morning, with no estimation time on when power would be restored. Allegheny Power estimated about 115,000 of its customers, roughly 87,000 of which were in Pennsylvania, lost power. Many roads were closed, and power lines and trees fell.

In the Mt. Oliver section of Pittsburgh, our cable is out, but we have electricity. The lights blinked several times last night as trees fell on power lines all over the area. The scanner reported one woman’s house had TWO trees fall on it and she was stuck in the basement. Estimated time for her rescue? At least 3 hours. I’m glad I wasn’t that woman!

I received this official announcement from Carnegie Mellon University:

Yesterday’s severe snowstorm has impacted several campus operations today, including Dining Services, Retail Services, the shuttle and escort service and our campus grounds crew. Dining will be operating in a limited capacity today. More dining facilities will open as road conditions improve and as more dining personnel are able to report for work. The Bookstore, Computer Store and Art Store will be closed today. 

The Shuttle and Escort Service has been suspended due to road conditions. Operations will resume on a limited basis when road conditions improve. Facilities Management Services crews are working and will continue to work through the weekend to clear roadways, pedestrian walkways and surface parking lots. They are also working to clear three trees that have fallen due to the heavy snowfall. These trees are located in front of Hamburg Hall, near the FMS Building and at the corner of Devon Road and Forbes Avenue.

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I'm a middle-aged grandma who rides an 1400cc Suzuki motorcycle. I run a ferret shelter and a ferret club, and I'm way too busy.

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