The new year began with a familiar sight as of late, more snow. With the snow storm on Thursday, Jan. 2, also came bitter cold with temperatures in the single digits and wind chills below zero. To follow up the five to ten inches that Berks County saw was freezing rain on Sunday Jan. 5, and then more rain before temperatures dropped again on Monday. This was all followed by single digit temperatures, strong winds and a wind chill temperature of -21 on Tuesday.
Students, who just returned from winter break on Thursday, were given another day off on Friday, Jan. 3, as the snow continued to fall making travel dangerous. Many local events and meeting were also canceled due to the weather and unsafe travel. The wind and below zero wind chills caused Hamburg and Tulpehocken Area School Districts to issue two hour delays while Schuylkill Vally Area School District closed on Tuesday, Jan. 7.
Though PennDOT was ready for the storm with trucks prepared to go when the first flakes began to fall, roads were still dangerous and created difficult driving. PennDOT temporarily reduced the speed on Interstate 78 and other major roadways to 45 mph and urged drivers to use caution while driving by keeping plenty of space between vehicles and allowing plenty of time for drivers to reach their destinations and if possible to not travel. Even with reduced speeds and caution, some drivers had no choice but to go out in the storm and there were multiple crashed reported due to road conditions. Along with the snow covered roadways, strong winds created white-out conditions on Friday that many traveling to work experienced.
With winter in full swing, remember to be prepared for the weather. PennDOT suggest for drivers to slow down, increase following distance and avoid distractions when they encounter snow or ice covered roads. It is also recommended that drivers carry an emergency kit in their vehicle with the following items: non-perishable food, water, first aid supplies, warm clothes, a blanket, cell phone charger and a small snow shovel as well as additional items that may be needed such as baby supplies, pet supplies and extra medication.
Even with the non-travel friendly roads and below zero wind chills, readers went out and submitted their photos from around the area. Some even went all out and even had fun making a snow angel.
If you have any photos of the snow or roadways during storms, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or stop by The Item office so they can be added to our online album and may appear in print.