ERIE, Pa. — It has been a season of extremes for northwestern Pennsylvania as even snowmelt presents flooding concerns.
“The biggest thing I worry about is all the icicles on the houses and whatnot and the snow, and I think most of that’s gone,” said Doug Karaisz of Erie.
Just days after the record snowfall began to melt, more snow was on its way to replace it; but this time, it could be accompanied by freezing rain.
Karaisz anticipates “a lot of black ice. A lot of cars sliding all over the place. You’ve just got to take it real slow.”
Erie resident Evelyn Wade said she had already gotten a taste of the ice.
“I fell on my face yesterday on the ice, right here, out here in the street, getting off of the bus. So, you’ve got to be careful,” she said.
Officials warned that the approaching storm could wreak havoc on the infrastructure.
“A lot of tree limbs coming down on the wires and stuff like that,” said Dale Robinson, emergency management coordinator of Erie County. “That’s one of the main things I expect to see (Friday) with a quarter-inch of ice. Another thing is probably an uptick in traffic accidents.”
Robinson said some of those accidents could be caused by possible slick roads or traffic light outages. He said there remains a risk for flooding, but that more people are likely to be impacted by power outages.
“Have a flashlight. Make sure your fuel tank’s filled up, because when the power goes out, you can’t get gasoline. Stop at the bank. Get some cash, because ATMs, credit card machines might not be working,” he said.
Keeping salt could also be handy.
“I’m going to carry some salt. Put it on the street,” jested Wade.