LEHIGH COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) — PennDOT officials have an urgent warning as winter weather continues to hound the region. As PennDOT crews prepare roads and highways for yet another winter blast, officials have a message for drivers.
“Avoid travel if you can, but if you have to go out there, the key to it is really slow down, give yourself plenty of time,” said Sean Brown with PennDOT.READ MORE: Jalen Hurts, Eagles No Match For Cowboys In 41-21 Loss In Dallas
Even this late in the season, PennDOT has plenty of salt on hand with more than 85,000 tons of it in Philadelphia and the suburbs. There is even more to go around in the Lehigh Valley.
Meantime, we found many people stocking up on ice melt at Albright’s Hardware in Allentown.
“Lugging that bag of ice to the sidewalk, it’s good exercise,” one woman said. “They’re 50 pounds, that’s right. And I’m ready to deal with them.”
Heavy ice from the storm also threatens to snap utility lines.
“Just be prepared for a power outage,” said Robert O’Donnell who oversees the electric department in Quakertown.
The borough supplies power to many of its homes and businesses.
“Have flashlights ready and if the power does go out, please call us. Don’t go out and look for the problem yourself,” O’Donnell said.
Crews with PPL Electric are also on standby to quickly respond to potential outages.
“We’re closely monitoring the forecast so we have the right resources at the right place,” Jane George said.
Officials also urge people to stay away from downed power lines.
If you live in Allentown, you have 10 hours after a storm to clear sidewalks. Those who live in Bethlehem have 24 hours.
The rain started falling in Allentown right around 5 p.m. and even before the sunset, you could see the sheen on the roads as that precipitation started to freeze.READ MORE: Philadelphia School District Superintendent Dr. William Hite Will Not Seek Contract Renewal After School Year
“I don’t like the ice, icy is scary,” one person said.
Residents in the Lehigh Valley are bracing for freezing rain and ice, making sidewalks and roads slick.
“So far, they’re good. Tomorrow morning might be a little rough,” one person said.
Many spent the holiday Monday stocking up as February brings its latest wallop of winter weather.
Zachary Dries of Dries Do-It-Center in Macungie says rock salt sales have tripled from January of last year.
“We’ve got 10 palettes in today of salt, and we’re down to about four,” he said.
And if you need a shovel, only three shovels are left out of hundreds, along with one lone snowblower. It’s proof of the punch mother nature has packed.
“We haven’t been able to keep up,” Dries said.
Still, with several more weeks of winter left on the calendar, some are making the best of it. As for the rest of us, even those who make a living off the weather, spring seems pretty far away right about now.
“You say bring on the snow, bring on the ice, I say bring on spring,” one man said. “I’m ready for spring.”
And again, the worst of it may still be yet to come, so a reminder tonight to charge your devices, as any ice that forms on trees and power lines could mean outages overnight and as you wake up tomorrow.
Click here for more information on how to report power outages to PPL.MORE NEWS: EXCLUSIVE VIDEO: Large Group Of Noisy Dirt Bikes, ATVs Take Over Radnor Streets
CBS3’s Matt Petrillo and Alicia Roberts contributed to this report.