The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local 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
Local News
  • smothers ‘It breaks my heart’: Shooting victim’s death leaves trail of shattered lives

    Victoria Smothers knows what people thought when they heard that a young black male had been shot to death in Moxham last week.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • School violence studied

    On a typical day last year, Pennsylvania schools caught 11 students toting weapons similar to ones used to slash 21 students and a security guard at a Pittsburgh-area high school, according to the state Department of Education. An untold number of others likely brought weapons to school but weren’t caught, safety experts say.

    April 16, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 16, 2014

  • egg hunt17 ACRP quietly notes 25th anniversary

    There will be little or no fanfare accompanying Alternative Community Resource Program’s 25th anniversary.
    And that’s how the executive director, Frank Janakovic, wants it.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • windber17 Windber students earn top ‘Overchiever’ rank

    Windber Area school’s PSSA scores have been tops in the region for the past several years.
    This year, they’re among the head of the class statewide, Pittsburgh Business Times annual Schools Guide shows.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wise, Charles Police charge bank robbery suspect

    A Johnstown man was jailed on $250,000 bond after police said he robbed the West End Branch of AmeriServ Financial. Charles Wise, 48, of Barron Avenue, was charged with two counts of robbery.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Inmate awaits sentencing for assault on guard

    A former inmate faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced for assaulting a corrections officer at State Correctional Institution-Somerset, authorities said.

    April 16, 2014

  • windber pool Pool stays afloat despite troubles

    When a valve broke at the Windber Recreation Park pool last month, its municipal authority caretakers feared that meant the end for the pool’s aged, much-patched liner.
    But the old liner has held up – a stroke of luck that will save Windber Municipal Authority from having to seek a line of credit to cover repairs or risk delaying the pool opening, the authority’s recreation director, C.W. Beckley, said.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Creativity blossoming for spring art show

    The 16th annual Art in Bloom spring art show will brighten the Cambria County Courthouse in Ebensburg from noon to 6 p.m. April 26 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 27.

    April 16, 2014

  • Alcatraz Challenge offers escape from routine

    Greater Johnstown Community YMCA is gearing up for its indoor biathlon, the Alcatraz Challenge.

    April 16, 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
House Ads