HARRISBURG — With the potential for an intense winter storm this weekend, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has declared a state of emergency.
This weekend, snow could fall at a rate of 1-2 inches per hour, and Gov. Wolf said his top concern is safety.
“Our top concern is the safety of residents,” said Wolf. “Postpone travel if you can, and be aware of changing conditions.”
⚠️ I’m declaring a State of Emergency as #WinterStormHarper approaches. We’ll be aggressive in managing this storm — snowfall rates could exceed 1-2 inches per hour.
Our top concern is the safety of residents. Postpone travel if you can, and be aware of changing conditions. https://t.co/Kk8P8ENeEF
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) January 18, 2019
A commercial vehicle ban will also be in place between noon Saturday and noon Sunday on all interstates and the Pa. Turnpike, except for Interstate 95 in southeastern Pennsylvania. The ban will also be imposed on the U.S. 22 expressway in the Lehigh Valley and the Pennsylvania Route 33 expressway in Northampton and Monroe counties.
Ahead of #WinterStormHarper this weekend, @GovernorTomWolf signed a state of emergency declaration to increase assistance with storm response efforts throughout Pennsylvania. #PAwinter https://t.co/DUaJmZyb3f
— The Press Office (@GovernorsOffice) January 18, 2019
Speed limits will also be restricted to 45 m.p.h. on interstates and expressways as the storm progresses, and Amtrak has already canceled the cross-state Pennsylvanian passenger train for Sunday and has canceled six trains Sunday on the Keystone Line between Philadelphia and Harrisburg.
PennDOT secretary Leslie S. Richards said, “Travel will be very challenging this weekend with the combination of heavy snow, high winds, sleet, freezing and plain rain and then a rapid drop in temperatures on Sunday. If you must travel, please check 511PA for the latest conditions and be prepared in case extreme conditions trigger long delays on your route.”