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Plow Crews And Residents Brace For Winter Weather System In Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Public works crews are preparing to hit the roads when it starts snowing this weekend, while residents are getting anxious about road conditions.

"Anytime it snows, I pretty much assume that I'm not leaving my house for several days until it literally becomes sunny enough out to melt it," said Dana Koonse, who lives in Pittsburgh's Overbrook neighborhood.

Pittsburgh residents are bracing for the expected snowfall on Sunday and Monday. Some city streets had snow on them 24 hours after last Thursday's snowfall. Pinecastle Avenue in Overbrook was one of the streets that were dicey a day after last week's snowfall.

"It was literally only an inch. They actually never touched it and it turned into a sheet of ice," Koonse said.

The Pittsburgh Department of Public Works is preparing for what Mother Nature will bring in a few days. Acting Director Chris Horstein shared a statement with KDKA that said, "We do have a few drivers out due to COVID; fortunately, the numbers are very, very low for us at the City. We do not anticipate any appreciable impact to snow operations due to COVID-19 at this point. We are waiting until tomorrow to report final snow readiness information in case there are any last-minute changes."

KDKA spoke with another neighbor, Kathryn Sweeny, on Friday about conditions on Pinecastle Avenue.

"Somethings gotta give," she said.

Residents' main concern is the hill on Pinecastle Avenue and how dangerous it can get when covered with snow and ice.

"I'm a nurse, I'm a first-line defender. I have to be there no matter what. I find myself at the end of the hill literally doing the sign of the cross in the winter, just to get down that hill," Sweeney said.

Koonse said they've been dealing with this icy issue for years.

"It's never touched. We will only seldom see a salt truck proactively coming by. But once it snows, they don't clear it," said Koonse. "We do follow the snowplow tracker. They do say they come by. But from what I've seen, it doesn't look like they are coming by. It's definitely see it to believe it or hear it," said Koonse.

Allegheny County Public Works is also monitoring the track of the storm. Director Stephen Shanley shared a statement, saying:

"Our current staffing level is not out of the ordinary, and it won't impact the effectiveness of our operations during the upcoming winter storm. We are closely monitoring forecasts and will be ready for anything the weather might throw at us Sunday and into next week. The potential storm is too far out at this point for us to provide concrete plans. We should know a lot more tomorrow and especially on Saturday. We have roughly the same number of drivers on staff as we did last winter, and we are confident that our available drivers will effectively clear our roads during the upcoming storm. We are hiring additional drivers, and we encourage those interested to apply online by visiting"

PennDot District 11 spokesperson Steve Cowan shared a statement as well.

"Just like any organization, we have had employees with COVID... We are not experiencing issues with filling our trucks with drivers for this weekend because of COVID. As for the storm, we are monitoring the track. We have a districtwide maintenance meeting tomorrow morning and a statewide call in the afternoon. We have notified our operators they will be working the weekend. We have also contacted our rentals to put them on notice for the storm. Right now, we do not have any issues with materials, equipment, or manpower. We will determine whether or not we can pre-treat the roadways over the next day or two as we see if the storm will start as rain."

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