PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf thanked the people of Pennsylvania “for doing what they did to make this process go smoothly.”
Wolf, holding a live press conference this morning to talk about the latest on the winter storm that pummeled our area, said it was the biggest storm this part of the country has ever had and it threw authorities for a loop from the very beginning. “The storm started earlier than we thought,” Wolf told reporters. “There were a lot of surprises.”
The governor said crews did “everything to keep the major roads open, the state highways are open.” State authorities say they hope to quickly reopen a section of the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Pittsburgh where hundreds of vehicles were stranded during the massive winter storm. Gov. Tom Wolf told reporters Sunday that only 20 tractor-trailers remain on the turnpike section in Somerset County. He said the drivers voluntarily stayed with their trucks and were “all safe and ready to get going.”
More than 500 cars, trucks and buses — including those carrying the Duquesne University men’s basketball team and the Temple University gymnastics squad — got stuck there Friday night as the storm hit. “There were people who experienced hardship,” Wolf said. “We need to figure out how to do a better job there.”
Turnpike chief executive officer Mark Compton vowed “an extensive after-action review” on how the situation developed and the response to it. He said officials hoped to have the turnpike section reopened by mid-afternoon Sunday. Wolf urged residents to stay home if they can so that crews can continue to clear the roads.
And while there may have been some trouble on the roadways, the state’s emergency management director said across the state, there are only 689 customers that are still without power due to the weather. A majority of those are in the Philadelphia region. At the height of the storm, officials said outages were scattered throughout Pennsylvania, but the numbers were few.
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