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3rd snowfall in a week coats Berks, slows PM commute

'Keep your distance'

3rd snowfall in a week coats Berks,...

MUHLENBERG TWP., Pa. - It's not yet officially winter, and we're already on the third snowfall in the region in a week's time.

The third late-fall storm had PennDOT crews and drivers at the ready as the flakes began falling ahead of the Friday evening rush hour.

The snowfall brought about early dismissals in the Boyertown Area School District in Berks County and the Pottsgrove School District in neighboring Montgomery County. Other districts canceled their after-school and evening activities.

Meanwhile, at the PennDOT depot in Muhlenberg Township, they were expecting a regular Friday, but then the snow came.

"Today was normal operations, and then we saw the snow move in, so we started getting guys ready, had them out in trucks ahead of it," explained Rick Stone, PennDOT's Berks County equipment manager.

In the wake of the past two late-fall snowstorms, PennDOT has had to adjust.

"These cold temperatures are adding to it. It's sticking quicker and they seem to be hanging around a little longer than expected," Stone said.

Many motorists are feeling the same way. Arturo Fiorentino of Reading had some good advice for fellow drivers.

"Keep your distance. Just keep your distance. That's the best thing you could ever do," Fiorentino cautioned.

As for PennDOT, crews are ready for days like Friday and the many that lie ahead, as the official first day of winter is next week.

"We have 41 department trucks in the county. They are all out on the road. Come rush hour, if we still got snow, just take your time," Stone said.

As the winter season approaches, PennDOT is still looking to fill many positions, both full- and part-time, including plow truck drivers.

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