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Don’t let snowy weather knock you out this weekend

Winter weather will again potentially cause problems on roads in the Chambersburg area and throughout Eastern Pennsylvania. Snow is expected overnight Friday and again Sunday night. While it is unclear if there will be a repeat of last weekend’s “flash freezing” that caused numerous crashes and five fatalities on roads in Pennsylvania and neighboring states, but anyone driving in the region should take extra care on the road.

The snow could leave between 4 and 8 inches by Monday morning, and combined with falling temperatures may leave the roads in treacherous condition for the start of the week. The storm last week caused dozens of crashes in Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including one involving 56-vehicles, which left one man dead.  

Rain unexpectedly changed to freezing rain and turned streets and highways into skating rinks, leaving drivers unable to stop their vehicles. Drivers described the effect of sliding, pinball-like down the roads, crashing into other vehicles as they went.

Once a chain-reaction crash begins, vehicles that are travelling too fast for conditions have no ability to avoid crashing into already wrecked vehicles. When it is icy, staying off the road is the only safe response, as attempting to navigate an icy road is inherently dangerous.

Because temperatures in the 20s are forecast for Monday, with lows in the single digits, any snow or rain that falls Sunday night will freeze and road surfaces could be slick. Chemicals like road salt become less effective when temperatures approach zero and that could make driving conditions challenging Monday and Tuesday.

Weather can be deadly; five families are dealing with funerals this week because of weather last weekend. During bad weather, slow down and pay attention to the condition of road surface, or you could be paying your local body shop for major repairs, or spending time in a hospital.

Publicopiniononline.com, “Pair of snow storms will open and close the weekend,” Amber South, January 22, 2015

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