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
  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cawley Lt. Gov. Cawley pushes jobs plan during Johnstown visit

    Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley got to see firsthand many of the training tools used by Hiram G. Andrews Center students on Thursday and took some time to promote a program called Jobs for All, part of Gov. Tom Corbett’s JOBS1st PA agenda.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • home VIDEO | Volunteers ‘blitz build’ replacement home for Upper Yoder man

    One week ago, Joey Varmecky had almost nothing.
    In October, a flue fire claimed his Swank Street home. That night, Varmecky, a deaf and partially blind man who doesn’t speak, showed up on the doorstep of his friend’s home. His feet were covered only by a pair of stockings.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Toomey & Shuster Bill would help identify unclaimed remains of veterans

    The cremated remains of an estimated 47,000 veterans are stored throughout the United States, sometimes in nothing more than nondescript metal canisters on shelves.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • million Lucky Seward man finds ticket to riches

    People often play the lottery and dream about the things they would do if they won the big one.
    That dream came true for Karl Kadi of Seward, who won $1 million on a $20 Max-A-Million scratch-off lottery ticket.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Farrish, James State police make another drug bust on turnpike

    A Pittsburgh man was jailed Thursday after state police said they found about $120,000 in suspected heroin during a traffic stop on the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sisco, Ryan James & John Patrick Two brothers charged in beating at bar

    Two Johnstown brothers were jailed Wednesday after police said they beat a man so badly he suffered a concussion and may end up blind in one eye.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • path of flood Path of Flood entries due

    Anyone interested in participating in Johnstown Area Heritage Association’s  Path of the Flood Historic Half Marathon and 5K race will need to get in gear before the April 30 registration deadline.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drilling fees should fund education, Democrats say

    Democrats running for governor seem to be competing to convince voters they will dip deepest into the pockets of gas drillers to replace $1 billion that Gov. Tom Corbett has cut from education spending.

    April 17, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/18/2014

    April 17, 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