Road, utility crews gear up for wintry weather

Posted: 5:55 AM EST Dec 08, 2013

As wintry weather heads for the Lehigh Valley, transportation and utility companies say they are ready to go.

According to PennDOT representatives, preparations for the season started in early fall.

Forecasters predict a mix of rain, snow and sleet Sunday.

"We will have every truck available if need be," said Sean Brown, with PennDOT.

Brown said PennDot is fully staffed for severe weather and stocked with salt to treat roads.

In addition to preventing slick roads, Brown said crews will clear blocked roadways.

"Our drivers will also be out there cutting trees and removing them from roadways if necessary," Brown said.

Another concern is tree limbs falling on power lines.

"There is always the potential for power outages when you have snow and ice weather conditions," said Joe Nixon, spokesperson for PPL.

Nixon said fallen tree limbs are to blame for most outages and after last year's struggle with Superstorm Sandy, PPL is doing all it can to reduce the risk.

"We've been working to make our system more storm resistant, putting up larger poles, metal poles instead of wooden poles, a lot more tree clearing and trimming," Nixon said.

Nixon said people should avoid downed power lines and contact their power company right away to ensure repairs are done safely. He said it's also important for customers to contact their provider when the power goes out.