By CBS3 Staff

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — PennDOT crews spent Tuesday pre-treating roads and getting their snow plows and salt trucks ready to take on a storm that could dump as much as a foot of snow on the Philadelphia region Wednesday into Thursday.

”We expect this to be a pretty intense storm, with snow falling at maybe one or two inches per hour and a lot of our plow routes take two, three, four hours, depending on the volume on the roadway and how fast they can go,” said PennDOT Deputy Director of Communications Brad Rudolph.

The department has 80 trucks assigned to the city alone, where crews will take care of the interstate roadways. Once the storm arrives, across Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester Counties, PennDOT will have 180 of its own trucks on the ground, plus about 270 contractor trucks working around the clock.

“Give our guys plenty of distance, they do a really, really tough job out there,” Rudolph said. “Six car lengths would be ideal.”

Temperatures have dipped, a chill is in the air, and for the first time in months, almost everyone in Philly is talking less COVID and more snowstorm.

At Fairmount Hardware, the impending storm kept a steady line of customers outside of their order window.

“They come in spurts and we’re prepared for them,” said co-owner David Arici. “It’s the first snowstorm, we have plenty of product.”

It was a busy day at Fairmount Hardware, where the go-to items weren’t masks, but shovels and ice melt.

“I got my semi-annual I-panicked-and-forgot-to-steal-my-shovel-from-my-previous-landlord shovel,” Jake Jackson said.

Some shoppers told Eyewitness News they’re looking forward to seeing the first major snowfall in nearly two years.

“Last time I’ve seen some snow was like 2018, significant snow. I’m just preparing for it,” said Eric Summers of Brewerytown, after purchasing a bucket of ice melt.

“I grew up in New England, so this is nostalgic for me,” Jackson said. “It’s been very weird to spend the last few winters here without any snow.”

Arici says the store is fully stocked and fully aware we’re still in the middle of a pandemic.

“With the whole COVID, we set up two outdoor sliding windows and put two cashiers there. The customers have been extremely patient with us,” Arici said.

Supplies are not a concern for PennDOT either. After two quiet winters, there is plenty of salt and salt brine in reserve.

CBS3’s Trang Do and Greg Argos contributed to this report.

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