Winter storm making roads dangerous; snow piling up quickly
The snow is piling up quickly.
As of noon in Nesquehoning, six inches fell since the beginning of the storm. Six-and-a-half inches were reported in East Penn Township; seven-and-a-half fell in the Penn Forest area and seven inches were recorded in Coaldale.
According to motorists trying to get home from work around lunch time, some roads were dangerous while some were passable.
Snow emergency declarations have been filed by six municipalities in Carbon so far, including Bowmanstown, Palmerton, Jim Thorpe, Lansford, Nesquehoning and Towamensing Township. More are expected to issue declarations as the storm continues.
Coaldale in Schuylkill County had already issued a state of emergency earlier this morning.
According to information provided by Mark Nalesnik, coordinator for the Carbon County Emergency Management Agency, two fire departments are open in Carbon County for citizens to use as shelters. They are Bowmanstown and Lehigh and Lausanne Rural fire departments.
There were a number of businesses closed today because of the weather, but shoppers were still able to find a few stores still open.
Northeast Chemical in Lansford was open.
In the winter, they sell rock salt, bags of coal and wood pellets.
According to Tom and Janel Tirpak this morning, there was still plenty of bags of rock salt, coal and wood pellets available for walk-ins.
At 10 a.m., Chris Ackerman, customer service representative at Pleasant Valley Ace Hardware in Brodheadsville, said the store is quiet this morning.
"We had a little bit of business. The one thing most people come in for is rock salt and we sold the last seven bags about an hour and a half ago."
Bob Hunt, the merchandising manager of Kinsley's ShopRite Market in Brodheadsville said the snow storm "killed it today" with very few customers venturing out this morning.
"The storm was predicted and most of our customers came in Tuesday and Wednesday. We call those days 'French Toast Emergencies' ... when customers buy bread, milk and eggs. So now today there is a lack of business and our employees call off. Some of our worst business days are snow days. It's always been that way," said Hunt.
Kinsley's will remain open until its regular closing time of 11 p.m.
"Our employer likes to stay open for those customers who may venture out or need something," he said. But the store's supply of rock salt is pretty much gone.
"The bulk of our business was probably this morning. Tonight it will be like a ghost town," Hunt said.
A look ahead
At noon today, the storm seemed to take a breather, with little to no snow dropping in the area.
Before then, it was reported that snow accumulations of approximately two-three inches an hour were reported.
Unfortunately, meteorologists are saying this is just a lull in the storm and it is expected to intensify again as the day goes on.
According to the National Weather Service, a total of up to 16 inches may be recorded by the end of the storm.