Snowstorm Makes for Long Commute

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. -- Backups on Interstate 81 going both ways in Luzerne County as well as Route 315 near Pittston, and Route 309 in the Back Mountain on Thursday night were caused by crashes.

People we talked to say the roads were the worst they've ever seen.

Cars were backed up for miles along Interstate 81 in Luzerne County Thursday night. The traffic looked like a string of Christmas lights.

Heavy snowfall during rush hour caused accidents and delays that brought many of the area's roads and interstates to a standstill.

We stopped at Primo Hoagies near Wilkes-Barre. The owner tells us he and all of his employees had a difficult time getting home.

"It literally took me about two hours to get from Wilkes-Barre up to Bear Creek," said owner Mike Defrancesco. "Just zig-zagging all through town. Trying to make my way up toward the mall and that didn't work. Had to take the turnpike, but it was really bad, as bad as I've seen it in a long time."

One of his employees, high school student Sean Murphy, had a difficult time getting up the hill on Route 309 to Mountain Top.

"I went up the mountain and there was like cars stopped everywhere and I went around them and my mom told me just to keep my tires going so the car doesn't stop," Murphy said.

Newswatch 16 also got caught in the mess on the roads.

We shot video of the traffic safely from outside our live truck. Cars were stopped for miles.

"it took me an hour and 20 minutes to get from here to Forty Fort and it was just utter chaos on the roads," said Dominic Buomsante, the owner of Dino's Pizza in Wilkes-Barre, who also got caught in traffic.

"I've never seen anything like it as long as I've lived here."

The people we spoke with say they're just happy they made it home safely.

"We have such a great crew, it's like one big family. So we tried to make sure they were safe, everyone tried to help each other out. One of our employees dropped someone else off because he had an SUV, thankful they all got home safe and back today," Defrancesco said.

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