PennDOT Prepares for Storm

LACKAWANNA COUNTY, Pa. -- PennDOT was out in force Wednesday preparing the roads for the upcoming snow.

The whole state is short on plow drivers for the beginning of the winter season, but officials in our area say they're ready.

Earlier this week, PennDOT workers switched over to their winter schedule of alternating 12-hour shifts. Plows were out salting Wednesday and crews worked on winter problem areas.

PennDOT employees tried to best predict the areas that will be hardest hit.

"I just came out of a webinar that we had with the National Weather Service where we start looking at the latest forecast to figure out where the snow is coming in," PennDOT spokesperson James May said Wednesday afternoon.

May told Newswatch 16 that the winter season is starting with less help than usual. PennDOT is still hiring plow drivers and mechanics for seasonal jobs. 500 positions are still open statewide.

"We'll do a few things. We'll look at having those guys work more hours, and then we'll also go to our private contractors and pull them in and they'll end up doing some extra work as well," May added.

PennDOT is also working on some areas they know are going to be a problem in the winter weather.

A grad-all machine was brought in to create ditches on the side of Route 435 in Roaring Brook Township. Crews scooped leaves and debris from existing drainage. All in an effort to keep the road from icing up.

Ice caused by water runoff is thought to be the cause of a crash there earlier in the week.

The consequences of a wet summer and fall, as we now head into winter.

"It's been so wet. There's runoff in areas we never had runoff before, so you try to keep up with it as much as you can, but it is what it is," said John Kosek of Moscow.

It's not just the road crews and plow drivers who are working round the clock ahead of the snowfall. PennDOT's radio operators are also in place, ready to dispatch drivers once the flakes start falling.

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