Last week most Pennsylvanians were reminded that winter is not over.On Tuesday Feb. 12, Berks County residents were hit with a mixture of snow, rain and sleet storm.
During the afternoon residents experienced snow then a combination of snow and sleet in the afternoon said National Weather Service Mount Holly, NJ.
The next day, morning commuters struggled to clear snow with a thin layer of ice off their vehicles.
Around midnight the snow turned into sleet and rain. It continued to rain overnight into Wednesday and Thursday.
The National Weather Service Mount Holly, NJ stated that Berks County was issued a Flood Warming until 3 p.m. on Wednesday and had a Flooding Watch until Thursday.
"People have reported having their basements flooded," said a representative from the National Weather Service Mount Holly, NJ.
According to Sean Brown from the press office of PennDOT, the wintery mess accounted for several minor accidents on the roads.
"We focused on the major arteries such as the interstates and the roads most traveled such as I-78 and Rt. 422," said Brown.
Then the PennDOT crew tended to the back roads and streets less traveled. PennDOT was at work Wednesday to take care of flooding issues on the roads, said Brown.
He urged people that if they had to travel to make sure they leave extra time to get there.
The winter mix also left 5,000 homes in Berks County without power on Wednesday morning, said Met-Ed's Marybeth Smialek. As of noon on Wednesday, Smialek said that 800 homes in the county were still without power.
In addition, according to PPL Electric Utilities Web site, 106 homes in South Heidelberg Township, 113 in Spring Township, 165 in Wyomissing Borough, and 30 in Wyomissing Hills Borough were without power as of Wednesday.
The Berks County chapter of the American Red Cross urged community residents to take precautions in the severe winter conditions and flooding affecting the area. They suggest staying indoors during the storm; wearing several layers of clothing if attempting to leave the house; understanding the hazards of wind chill by covering any exposed skin; walking care-fully around or on snowy or icy sidewalks; avoiding overexertion; and avoiding traveling by car.
The Red Cross also recommends keeping flashlights handy during a blackout for emergency lighting, instead of using candle for risk of significant danger of causing a home fire.
In a PennDOT press release, Press Officer Ronald Young urges motorists to avoid roads covered with water. Motorists should not underestimate the destructive power of fast-moving water, Young advised. Even slow moving water can sweep cars off a road or bridge. PennDOT Secretary Allen D. Biehler echoed Young's advice in a similar release.
"I'm urging motorists to slow down and allow an extra cushion safety between vehicles," Biehler said. "PennDOT trucks have been plowing and treating roads since early this morning, but conditions tonight could worsen and forecasts call for the snow to turn to sleet and freezing rain."
PennDOT also encourages motorists to visit its travel information page at www.dot.state.pa.us; click on traveler information.