PennDOT Keeping Up with Winter That Won’t Go Away

The calendar might say spring but the weather still says winter.  Despite today’s snow, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation road crews have been keeping up with the season that won’t quit.

The parade of smaller storms this winter has not depleted PennDOT’s supplies according to spokeswoman Erin Waters-Trasatt.  She says it has been relatively mild winter statewide on the whole.

Waters-Trasatt says PennDOT treats depending on the type of storm and whether there’s more ice or snow or rain mixing in.  If storms are closer together, there will be salt residue on the roads, meaning they will have to pre-treat less. Just last week, parts of the state had a similar snowfall.

Waters-Trassat says they have not changed their brine use recently; they’re not using more or less of it than usual.    Some mechanics are reporting more vehicle corrosion, citing more use of brine in recent years by road crews during winter.

You can learn more about PennDOT’s approach to winter storms at the department’s website.

PUC says Prepare Now for Winter Heating Bills

Woolley bear caterpillars and extended forecasts aside, there’s no telling how cold it will be this winter, or how big your heating bill will be.      The PUC hopes you’ll “Prepare Now“.  The campaign encourages people who are having financial struggles to reach out to their utility to see what programs are available. 

Commissioner Pamela Witmer says we can all take steps to be more energy efficient. Those include turning back the thermostat, using a programmable thermostat, and switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs. She adds you can also lower heating costs by closing your drapes when it’s cloudy, making sure your registers are not blocked so you’re getting the most heat out and your furnace is running at peak efficiency and even putting plastic over the windows for additional insulation.

Witmer says don’t wait for the bill to come in the mail. Call your utility and see what kinds of programs they have for low income families.  If you don’t qualify, there may be a budget plan that could help spread out the payments for higher winter heating bills.

Witmer   says be careful with supplemental heating sources.  If you’re using a fireplace, make sure the flue are inspected and cleaned out.  Use space heaters as instructed by the manufacturer.  Never use the oven to heat the room or burn charcoal indoors.

Witmer says people also need to know their rights.  Low income individuals cannot have their service terminated during winter months.  That period runs from November 30th through April 1st in Pennsylvania.

You can learn more at the PUC’s web site by calling 1-800-692-7380.