Dauphin County Commissioners warn citizens of treacherous travel, cold temperatures ahead of winter storm

HARRISBURG, PA (January 18, 2019) – Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III and the county’s Public Safety Department are warning residents of the potential for hazardous travel conditions and dangerously cold temperatures from a winter storm that is expected to hit the area Saturday evening through Sunday night.   

“Travel will get treacherous this weekend,” said Pries, who oversees the county’s Public Safety Department and Emergency Management Agency. “If you have to drive, please use extreme caution and make sure you have an emergency supply kit, including a snow shovel, rock salt and blankets, in your vehicle.”

According to the National Weather Service (NWS), the Harrisburg area can expect 6 to 10 inches of snow as well as sleet and freezing rain. Northern Dauphin County, however, is expected to receive 8 to 12 inches of snow.

“We’re closely monitoring conditions and are ready to respond and provide assistance to municipalities in need,” said Pries.

The NWS also warned of gusty winds and frigid temperatures on Sunday and Monday.

“Power outages are a big concern, too” said Haste.  “Wet, heavy snow combined with ice may cause downed trees and power lines. If you see a downed line, don’t attempt to move or drive over it. Instead, report it to the power provider.”

Recognizing the unsafe conditions this storm will bring, Dauphin County’s Area Agency on Aging is reaching out to its most vulnerable clients to ensure their safety.

“Our Agency on Aging caseworkers are calling at-risk clients to make sure they have adequate heat and food and reminding them where to turn if they need help,” said Hartwick, who oversees the county’s Human Services. “Please check on elderly neighbors or family members who live alone to ensure they’re safe.”

Senior citizens who need assistance are encouraged to call Dauphin County Area Agency on Aging at 717-780-6130. 

The county’s 24-hour emergency Crisis Intervention will also be available to anyone who is suffering a mental health crisis or is struggling with substance abuse and needs immediate assistance or counseling.  To reach Crisis Intervention, call 717-232-7511 or 1-888-596-4447. 

The commissioners also recommend the following safety tips:

  • Use safe home-heating practices,
  • Have an emergency supply kit, with flashlights, batteries, blankets and other items,
  • Remove cars parked on roadways, especially the Snow Emergency Routes, and stay off the roads so the crews can do their work,
  • Keep a safe distance between vehicles, and
  • Dig out fire hydrants in the event of a fire emergency.

Please visit www.DauphinCounty.org for safety tips, emergency kit checklists and family plan templates.