The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Latest News

January 5, 2013

Snow piling up: Despite stormy stretch, the worst is likely to come

JOHNSTOWN — The calendar showing the first full week of January serves as a reminder that despite high piles of snow along many streets and highways in Cambria and Somerset counties, winter is just getting under way for motorists and property owners.

“You gotta think,” said Denny Mehora, PennDOT maintenance manager in Cambria County. “So far we’re doing pretty good. We’ve had a couple of major storms and people have to be aware of slowing down.”

With the mounting piles of snow and more sure to come, PennDOT and municipal officials remind homeowners that it is against the law to shovel or plow snow onto public highways, even if the snow piles on private property are growing.

“It’s illegal to throw your snow on the highway. It’s a fineable offense,” Mehora said.

“It’s creating a hazard to the right of way, and your actions could be the cause of an accident.”

As temperatures increase a bit during the next few days and some melting occurs, it might be a good time to push the snow piles back from the driveway and the street. But in the city that had better not happen with a 4-wheeler and a blade, said public works Director Darby Sprincz.

“With warmer temperatures coming it will help with melting, but people are not allowed to use quads to plow out a parking space,” he said. “It’s against the law to use a quad on city streets.”

Sprincz would like to see more residents take advantage of the street plows as they come through.

“We’ll wait for you to move your car and we’ll plow out that parking area,” he said.

The crews make two or three passes on each street, and Sprincz recommends being out in the car when the plow makes that second pass.

“We’ll be back around and it makes it easier for everyone,” he said.

While Cambria County has had a few major storms, because of their timing and the work of PennDOT crews, roads have been cleared promptly and few problems developed.

The snow piles are beginning to increase in volume, prompting action to move them out of the way.

For PennDOT, it means clearing plowed snow from along the barriers on Route 22 and other major arteries, while Ebensburg street crews began hauling piled snow from the borough’s downtown streets on Friday.

Ebensburg Manager Dan Penatzer said the snow will be loaded and trucked to land around the Young People’s Community Center on Prave Street at the bottom of the hill from the Cambria County Court-house.

The borough also started enforcing its sidewalk ordinance on Friday.

“Most of our residents are pretty good, but you always have a few,” Penatzer said.

A borough law stipulates that sidewalks must be shoveled and made passable within

24 hours after a snow event ends, he said. Failure to comply could result in a fine.

When it comes to mailboxes, PennDOT said the homeowner is responsible and while plow drivers are cautioned to use lower speeds when plowing in areas of mailboxes, some damage may occur.

PennDOT does not replace damaged mailboxes, PennDOT officials said. Since most mailboxes are placed within Penn-DOT’s legal right of way, it is up to the homeowner to make sure the mailbox can withstand the weight of snow being thrown from a plow.  

Meanwhile, , PennDOT spokeswoman Pam Kane reminded motorists to slow down, especially when coming to a bridge or late in the afternoon after a thaw when re-freezing often sets in.

Additionally, she said, don’t use the cruise control except when roadways are dry, stay back 100 feet from a snowplow and don’t pass the plow.

“All we want is for people to be proactive rather than re-active,” she said. “Be patient, slow down, and stay home during a storm if you don’t have to go out.”

It’s about using your head, be it for driving, shoveling snow or anything else, Sprincz said.

“Some people have common sense and use it. Others don’t have the common sense that would buy them a cup of coffee,” he said.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News
  • Why do wolves howl?

    Of all the myths that dog the wolf, none is more widely accepted than the idea that wolves howl at the moon. Images of wolves with their heads upturned, singing at the night sky, are as unquestioned as a goldfish's three-second memory or a dog's color-blindness (both also myths).

    April 19, 2014

  • Raw oysters spike U.S. rise in bacterial infections, CDC reports

    Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

    April 19, 2014

  • Consumer spending on health care jumps as Affordable Care Act takes hold

    Nancy Beigel has known since September that she would need hernia surgery. She couldn't afford it on her $11,000 yearly income until she became eligible for Medicaid in January through President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

    April 19, 2014

  • VIDEO | Boston bomb scare defendant appears in court

    The man accused of carrying a backpack containing a rice cooker near the Boston Marathon finish line on the anniversary of the bombings was arraigned Wednesday. He's being held on $100,000 bail.

    April 19, 2014

  • Denne, Williams & Stanton Records hearing scheduled

    A Cambria County judge will consider complaints filed by two Johnstown residents seeking documents related to the city’s municipal waste water operation at hearing at the end of this month.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sen. Bob Casey Casey targets heroin

    The heroin trade has brought addiction, death, violence and theft to Johnstown and other Pennsylvania communities.
    Figuring out how to deal with those issues is difficult for local, state and federal officials.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drive-in to open with high-tech projector

    Drive-in movie theaters and the term “state of the art” seldom share the same sentence.
    But that will soon be the case for the Silver Drive-In, it’s owner said. The Scalp Avenue site, often marketed as a nostalgic summer night escape, soon will boast a high-end projector capable of displaying the latest and greatest blockbusters in razor sharp high-definition, theater owner Rick Rosco said.

    April 18, 2014

  • Sheetz work underway

    Earthmoving is underway at Richland Town Centre for a nearly 6,500-square-foot Sheetz store.
    And the real estate broker marketing the land says a 3,000-square-foot retail building will be built next door.

    April 18, 2014

  • Smith, Shakir Mosi Police seize heroin, money in Prospect

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. Friday. An arrest warrant has been issued for the man be­lieved to be the owner or renter of the two homes raided.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Comedy night targets serious problem

    Animal advocates are using comedy to take aim at a serious problem.
    The third annual Funny Fundraiser to benefit the Nardecchia Spay and Neuter Fund will be held at 8 p.m. May 16 at Ace’s, 316 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

    April 18, 2014

Poll

Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

Yes
No
I'm not sure
     View Results
Order Photos


Photo Slideshow

House Ads