High winds, snow and freezing temperatures are creating issues for residents across the region. Cars slipping and sliding as roadways have turned to a sheet of ice in some spots. The rapid changes have caused a series of accidents across the county with white out conditions making it tough for drivers to see in front of them. Visibility and road conditions have been a major concern for travelers all day. Power outages throughout the area have also created big problems for businesses and restaurants, many having to close early. Outages closed the Tom Ridge Environmental Center on Wednesday. Safenet, The Second Harvest Food Bank and more places like Best Fitness and Family First all closed due to the weather and power outages. The Erie School Board canceled its meeting on Wednesday because of the weather. Penelec’s outage map has shown places powerless throughout the day and into the night. Due to the outages the Salvation Army on Liberty Street opened its facility as a warming center. The Upper Room also extended its hours for people as the temperatures plummet through the night. It will be staying open until 11 pm. The Mental Health Association will open its doors for the night beginning at 11 pm. The overflow shelter is located at St John the Baptist. In the morning, the EMTA has set up a free shuttle service for those using the overflow shelter and will take them to the free breakfast at Saint Paul’s United Church of Christ Thursday morning.
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