(PITTSBURGH) Feb. 25, 2010 - Mayor Luke Ravenstahl today urged City residents to prepare now for hazardous weather conditions in anticipation of another major winter storm event that is expected to impact Pittsburgh Thursday through Friday evening. The Mayor urged residents to stay aware and be prepared for deteriorating road conditions and downed wires and trees. Residents are encouraged to stay tuned to their local news and City emergency page, www.pittsburghpa.gov for updates on the latest road conditions. Citizens may also sign up for emergency alerts on the webpage.
"Our residents must stay aware and prepared. If road conditions become dangerous, we will alert residents to stay off of the roads unless it is an absolute emergency," Ravenstahl said. "In particular, I strongly encourage residents to reconsider any trips they have planned to the eastern part of the state."
The Department of Public Works will have crews working on 12-hour shifts and if needed contractors are ready to assist with 48 pieces of additional equipment. The Mayor has directed public safety bureaus and the City's 311 line to be on standby for increased staffing and operations.
"We already have nearly 30 inches of snow and with even more expected coupled with strong winds we must prepare for possible power outages and downed trees," Ravenstahl said. "I urge residents to be careful and to stay away from any downed wires and trees."
Residents should report any downed wires to 911 as it is an extreme danger. Downed trees should be reported to 311.
The City Parks Department has prepared a plan to activate senior centers as "warming" centers if necessary. Firefighters are ready to assist with tree removal.
The Mayor also urged citizens to check on the elderly and to help them clear sidewalks when snow conditions allow.
"Currently, we are not in a state of emergency, but we are preparing for the possibility of dangerous winter weather," Ravenstahl said. "In the meantime, I'm encouraging residents to clear the sidewalks when possible, and to help their elderly neighbors in this task. We are all in this together, and we all must help each other get through this winter weather and its dangerous after effects."
The Mayor reminds the public to only call 911 in the event of an emergency, not to check on road conditions. If travel is an absolute must, drivers must be prepared with an emergency kit. Information on interstate road conditions and how to prepare for emergency travel is available on the City's emergency website.
The City is responsible for plowing and salting nearly 2,000 miles of City roads. About 45 percent of those roads are primary roads, or main arteries; about 50 percent are secondary roads or residential thoroughfares; and the remaining are side streets and alleyways known as tertiary roads.
Thursday, February 25, 2010