DuBOIS — While the Tri-County area experienced intermittent snow squalls throughout the day Wednesday due to lake-effect snow from the Great Lakes, the impact of the inclement weather was less than might have been expected. The squalls brought reduced visibility during the sporadic snowfall but predicted "whiteouts" did not materialize.
Jefferson County Emergency Manager Tracy Zents said the best defense to the winter weather is the early warnings that are available from the community's partnership with the National Weather Service.
“While we can't stop the weather, we can prepare for it,” Zents said. “We recommend everyone to watch for the weather advisories and or warnings as this will help them prepare if they have to travel, especially during the Christmas holidays.”
He also encouraged drivers to make sure they have their vehicle clear of snow and ice before driving. People believe cleaning the windows is enough, but the snow and ice on a car can come loose and strike someone else, he said, potentially causing an accident.
Elk County experienced about three to four inches of light fluffy snow by mid afternoon yesterday, according to Elk County Emergency Services Manager Mike McAllister.
“From an emergency management stand point, we treat snow as we do with all hazards. We treat the squalls like we would heavy rain or any severe weather in general,” McAllister said.
McAllister said the department makes sure sufficient staff is on hand, and can take calls from anyone who needs assistance. He also emphasized the need to be careful during any kind of travel in the snowy weather. As did Zents, he spoke about how important it is to be informed before getting on the roads.
“Watch your local weather because things change quickly, so we always encourage people to be able to see their local weather,” McAllister said.
DuBois City Manager John “Herm” Suplizio said DuBois is well prepared for the upcoming winter.
“We have some very experienced and good snowplow operators who have been doing this for many years now,” Suplizio said.
He also said that winter weather doesn't seem to slow the bustle of DuBois, as many people have grown up with the snowy conditions. Most people just go about their daily business, which is why the emergency services managers want people to pay attention to local weather.
The snow isn't going to stop anyone from going about their daily lives, but everyone can be safer with the tools and workers meant to aid with the winter weather.