News

Chambersburg prepares for weekend snow

Written by David Barr/Chambersburg Public Opinion | Jan 21, 2016 12:56 PM
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Roger Harris inspects a snowplow in preparation for this weekend's projected snowstorm while at the PennDOT Chambersburg headquarters Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2016.(Photo: Markell DeLoatch/Public Opinion)

(Chambersburg) -- The major weather services agree that a winter storm is coming, but just how big it will be remains the question of the week.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch, in effect from tomorrow evening through Sunday morning from the southcentral mountains to the lower Susquehanna Valley. The winter storm watch itself states that six inches or more is possible.

At the same time, Accuweather's website has most of the Franklin County area under the 12- to- 24-inches category, although the northwestern area of the county mostly falls under the 6- to- 12-inch category.

Accuweather meteorologist Tom Kines said the Chambersburg area is projected to receive 6-10 inches, starting sometime between 6 p.m. Friday and midnight Saturday. In agreement with the National Weather Service, Kines said the most intense snow should take place overnight Friday to Saturday and last through Saturday evening - a period of 24 hours.

If there is any one good thing about the scheduled forecast, Kines said, it is that the snow "should be a dry fluffy snow" as opposed to a wet, heavy snow. That means it will be lighter and easier to shovel and - if it does accumulate to a foot or more - put less stress on vulnerable roofs and other such surfaces.

Snow showers expected to move through the area Wednesday night have nothing to do with the main storm system - which the Weather Channel has named Jonas.

On its website, the Borough of Chambersburg has posted reminders that residents will want to keep in mind for the weekend no matter what kind of snow the area receives.

Plows will be out once two inches have accumulated. The major borough-owned streets will get first priority, including Stouffer, Orchard, Walker, and Norland. Secondary streets will only be given attention after major roads are passable.

"Chambersburg work crews will do our best to remove the snow from the roads as quickly and efficiently as possible. As always, however, your best defense in snowy conditions is to drive as safely as you can for the conditions," Assistant Borough Manager David Finch said in an email.

Per borough policy, plows clear clear snow from the center of each street - just enough to leave a clear travel lane for emergency vehicles. Streets will not be plowed curb to curb.

Residents digging out their vehicles are prohibited from throwing snow back into the street after it has been cleared. Also, residents will have a minimum of 24 hours from the end of the storm to attempt to clear the sidewalks before inspectors start investigating.

Finally, the borough reminds residents that public streets are open to all members of the public. In other words, people can not hold their parking spots. An individual cannot dig out his vehicle and move it, then use some kind of personal property or other method to save the spot until returning.

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