The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

February 11, 2013

PennDOT crews aid storm cleanup in New England

— Workers and a large piece of snow removal equipment from Somerset County are in Connecticut helping highway crews there to dig out of the massive snowstorm that swept along the Eastern Seaboard late last week and into the weekend.

The Somerset County PennDOT employees are part of a number of teams that were sent to New England following a  request for assistance from Connecticut, a PennDOT spokeswoman said.

Along with the two foremen, one lowboy operator and three men who operate snowblowers from Somerset, crews from Tioga County left Saturday evening while Penn-DOT workers from Montour and Columbia counties left early Sunday, according to a Penn-DOT release.

In an announcement, Gov. Tom Corbett said PennDOT responded after receiving a request for assistance from Connecticut officials.

The Pennsylvania workers were sent to parts of Hartford, Farmington and Meriden, Conn., PennDOT District 9 spokeswoman Pam Kane said.

Somerset County head of maintenance, Joe Kelemen, said his men and equipment went to the East Hartford area.

Kelemen said he sent the workers and equipment because of the relatively fair weather forecasts for the next several days. They are expected to be in the East Hartford area for four to five days.

“We looked at the forecast before we sent the people up there, and it isn’t calling for anything that bad around here,” Kelemen said.

He has moved other workers around Somerset County to make sure each area has adequate coverage.

Corbett also directed the  turnpike commission to mobilize crews and equipment to assist Massachusetts following its request for assistance, Penn-DOT said in a statement.  The request was canceled when Massachusetts was able to free up resources from another state.

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