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Lehigh Valley

Region digs out from beneath first significant snowfall

Region digs out from beneath first significant snowfall

The sounds of the season include salt trucks, snow plows and the scraping of shovels on the sidewalk.

"Merry Christmas," laughed Jim Shaeffer, of Allentown.

Not quite. But Tuesday's snowfall did make for a picture-perfect holiday post card in northern Lehigh County.

"I think it's wonderful. I come from New England, so I'm used to the snow," said Herb Gifford, of North Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co.

The snow covered cars and sidewalks, closed schools and created chemistry lessons for those like Jim Schaeffer in Allentown. He's just one of many who used salt to melt the ice and snow.

"This is pretty easy to clean up," he said.

Driving conditions depended on location. On South Mountain, snow dominated the roads, but on major throughways like MacArthur Road, heading home appeared to be hassle-free.

"Hasn't been too bad. The roads are pretty good. The state's keeping up on it," said Frank Kelly.

And so was Herb Gifford, 79, of North Whitehall Township.

"Some of my neighbors come out to help, but I need the exercise. I love doing it. I've been doing it all my life -- for me this is delight," Gifford said.

The snow, however, wasn't all work. Plenty of play was included, too.

"We are going to buy sleds, right? That is actually what we are going to do," said Amber Rodriguez.

"Below the [Pennsylvania] Turnpike from Lititz to here, the visibility was terrible," said Faith Higley.

A slow procession of headlights made its way down 222 in Breinigsville, Lehigh Co.

"I have seen a couple of people just fender benders just trying to stop," said Higley.

Some people got stuck on Route 100 in Shimmerville for hours.

"The hills were icy, so ice-packed, so until the salt truck came through, the truckers were stuck there. The cars got turned around, but the trucks got stuck," said Kevin Kaufman.

Stuck didn't stick to the highway. Folks on Finady Avenue in Bethlehem knew all about it.

Several people were out, trying to dig out and get down to their street.   

"I am trying to spin around and get our there. It's not working. No," said Graham Watt.

It's a yearly ritual these residents have gotten used to when it snows..

"It's a pretty bad street and it's even worse in the snow we always have a hard time getting up and down," said Ryan Allen.

In Nazareth, Northampton Co., it was a day of motorized and manual snow cleanup.

Bruce Stimmel said clearing his sidewalks was a piece of cake, but he said having to use a shovel wasn't very appetizing.

"Snow blower might be in the picture down the road. I recently bought a generator for those outages, so I guess my next purchase may be a snow blower or moving south when I retire shortly, " said Stimmel.

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