Harrisburg, PA (March 13, 2017)
Governor Tom Wolf today signed a Proclamation of Disaster Emergency in
anticipation of a significant winter snowstorm that will impact the state
starting Monday evening through late Tuesday, and announced PennDOT and the
Turnpike will restrict speeds on interstates and some large commercial
vehicular travel. Governor Wolf also announced that PennDOT will
deploy additional assets to areas expected to be hardest hit by the storm,
including the Northeast, Poconos and Lehigh Valley.
Governor Wolf and state agencies will provide an update on preparations for
impending winter storm at 3:30 p.m. today. The briefing will streamed live
https://governor.pa.gov/live/ or https://www.facebook.com/governorwolf/.
“State agencies continue to take proactive steps to ensure Pennsylvania is
ready for the incoming winter weather and Pennsylvanians should take their
precautions and prepare for adverse conditions, especially for travel,”
Governor Wolf said. “We are preparing for the most significant part of the
storm to hit the Eastern half of the state from Monday night through
commute with significant winds to follow and cause additional concerns. I
residents and commercial drivers across the commonwealth to prepare to
unnecessary travel on roadways during this time – as to let road crews and
emergency responders do their jobs and minimize dangerous travel.”
This proclamation is not a ‘state of emergency,’ as it does not prohibit
vehicular travel on commonwealth roads, but motorists are strongly
to delay all unnecessary travel and heed local road closures that may be in
place. A proclamation ensures emergency resources can be procured as needed
increases protections for consumers from price-gouging.
Travel Restrictions and PennDOT Resources
To help PennDOT and PA Turnpike crews get the optimum access to the
and expressways during the storm, beginning at 10 p.m. Monday, these
restrictions will be in place on all interstates and expressways east of
Interstate 99 and including Interstate 99:
• 45 mph speed limit
• Ban on tandem truck trailers, empty trailers, towed trailers, buses,
recreational vehicles and motorcycles.
These restrictions will be in place on Interstates 70, 76, 78, 80, 81, 83,
283, 176, 180, 476, 380 and all expressways not on the interstate system.
Turnpike will have the same restrictions beginning at 10 p.m. Monday from
Bedford Interchange east to NJ and on the entire Northeastern extension.
PennDOT is also cancelling all superload permits for movement on Tuesday.
PennDOT has 4,800 equipment operators, more than 2,000 plow trucks, 49 snow
blowers. All of PennDOT’s 11 regions will go on round-the-clock duty
Monday evening. PennDOT’s goal is to keep roadways passable and interstates
expressways take priority over lower volume routes.
PennDOT will also be redeploying assets to eastern Pennsylvania, where the
brunt of the storm is forecast to hit. Three Mobile Equipment Teams will be
dispatched. Each team consists of five plow trucks, 10 equipment operators
one supervisor. Teams are being dispatched from PennDOT’s northwestern
Pennsylvania district to the Scranton area, from the Pittsburgh area
to Monroe County near Stroudsburg and from southwestern Pennsylvania to the
Lehigh Valley area.
Proclamation of Disaster Emergency Impacts
The proclamation authorizes state agencies to use all available resources
personnel, as necessary, to cope with the magnitude and severity of this
emergency situation. The time-consuming bidding and contract procedures, as
well as other formalities normally prescribed by law, are waived for the
duration of the proclamation.
In addition, the proclamation authorizes the Department of Transportation
waive regulations related to drivers of commercial vehicles in order to
the timely movement of commodities, particularly food and home heating
It also provides consumer protections against price gouging by prohibiting
companies from charging a price for consumer goods or services that exceeds
percent of the average price that the consumer goods or services were sold
in the 7 days preceding the effective date of the Governor’s proclamation.