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Live snow updates: PennDOT lowers highway speeds, schools announcing Thursday closings

York Daily Record logo York Daily Record 12/16/2020 Shelly Stallsmith, York Daily Record

Updated at 5 p.m.

Central Pennsylvania's first measurable snow in nearly a year could be historic.

All it has to do is dump more than the 13.9 inches that fell on Christmas Eve into Christmas in 1961 to lay claim to the biggest December snow.

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Many forecasters are predicting that is exactly what is going to happen when the storm finally finishes sometime Thursday morning. Flakes began falling around 11 a.m. Wednesday.

It didn't take long for schools to start announcing they would be closed for in-person learning on Thursday. Some of York County's schools were going with virtual schedules, while others were taking the whole day off for students to enjoy.

Go here to see the list of school closings for Dec. 17.

Follow along here for live updates throughout central Pa. This post will be updated as news happens.

Stores closing early

Weis Markets announced they will be closing stores early on Wednesday. Those stores will reopen at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Closing times are dependent upon the region.

Stores in and around Gettysburg, Harrisburg (East and West shores), Chambersburg, Shippensburg, Hanover, Lancaster and York will be closing between 3 and 4 p.m.

Stores in and around Northeast Pa. (Lackawanna, Luzerne and Wyoming counties), Poconos and central Pa. (Bloomsburg, Danville, Sunbury, Williamsport, State College, Selinsgrove and Lewisburg) will be closing between 4 and 5 p.m.

Stores in and around Lehigh Valley (Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Pen Argyl and surrounding areas), Delaware Valley (Montgomery and Bucks counties) and Reading and Berks counties will be closing at 5 p.m.

Road restrictions

PennDOT has lowered the speed limit on area highways and will begin travel restrictions for commercial vehicles beginning at 1 p.m.

Speeds have been reduced to 45 mph on the following highways:

  • Interstate 81 in Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin and Lebanon counties; I-83 in Cumberland, Dauphin and York counties; 1-283 in Dauphin County.
  • Route 11 in Cumberland, Franklin and Perry counties; Route 15 in Adams, Cumberland and York counties; Route 22 in Dauphin and Perry counties; Route 78 in Lebanon County; Route 283 in Dauphin and Lancaster counties; Route 581 in Cumberland County; Route 30 in Lancaster and York counties; Route 222 from Route 30 to the Berks County line in Lancaster County.

The following commercial vehicle restrictions will go into effect at 1 p.m.:

No tractors without trailers, tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded enclosed trailers, open trailers or tank trailers; tractors towing unloaded or lightly loaded tandem trailers, enclosed cargo delivery trucks that meet the definition of a CMV, passenger vehicles towing trailers, recreational vehicles/motorhomes, school buses, commercial buses and motor coaches and motorcycles on the following roadways: I-78, I-80 (I-99 to NJ), I-81, I-83, I-84, I-95, I-283, I-295, I-380, I-676, PA-33, I-76 (Breezewood to NJ including the Pa. Turnpike), I-476 (I-95 to Clark Summit including the Pa. Turnpike).

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More: UPDATE: Historic snowstorm possible for central Pennsylvania? Why, of course, it's 2020.

More: School delays, closings reported across York County due to expected snowfall

What is a snow emergency?

When a municipality declares a snow emergency, it allows them to restrict parking on emergency routes, allowing for easier snow removal. Vehicles must be removed by a certain time. Generally an end dates is given, or "until further notice."

Snow emergencies announced

Adams County

Gettysburg: through 10 p.m. Thursday.

Cumberland County

Wormleysburg and Lemoyne boroughs: Wormleysburg's snow emergency began at 6 p.m. Tuesday and runs through noon Friday. Lemoyne's emergency runs from noon Wednesday and is in effect until further notice.

Dauphin County

Derry Township: All snow emergency routes should be clear of vehicles from 10 a.m. Wednesday to noon Dec. 19.

Steelton Borough: All vehicles must be removed from Front Street until noon Thursday.

Franklin County

Chambersburg Borough: Borough Hall and all borough buildings will be closed to the public beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday and will reopen at 10 a.m. Thursday. A copy of the borough's snow rules are available on the borough website.

Lancaster County

Columbia: from noon Wednesday.

Elizabethtown: from noon Wednesday until noon Friday.

Lancaster City: starts noon Wednesday, when vehicles must be removed from snow emergency routes. Any remaining vehicle will be towed. Free parking will be available for city residents at the Prince, Water, East King, Duke, and North Queen street, and Penn Square, Queen Street Station and Steinman Park garages.

Lititz: from 6 p.m. Wednesday until noon Friday.

Pequea Township: from 1:30 p.m. Wednesday until further notice.

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UP NEXT

York County

Delta: from 10 a.m. Wednesday.

East Hopewell Township: from noon Wednesday through 6 p.m. Thursday.

East Prospect: through Thursday.

Fairview Township: From noon Wednesday until further notice. 

Felton: until further notice.

Franklintown: until further notice.

Hanover Borough: from 8 a.m. Wednesday until further notice. 

Hellam Township: until 9 a.m. Friday.

Hopewell Township: from noon Wednesday through 6 p.m. Thursday.

Loganville: through Friday.

North York: from 9 a.m. Wednesday through 4 p.m. Thursday.

Spring Garden Township: from noon Wednesday until 4 p.m. Thursday.

Spring Grove: from noon Wednesday until further notice.

Springettsbury Township: from noon Wednesday.

Washington Township: from 10 a.m. Wednesday.

West Manchester Township: from 10 a.m. Wednesday until 6 a.m. Friday.

York City: A snow emergency begins at 8 a.m. Wednesday, when vehicles must be removed from all snow emergency routes. Free parking is available to city residents affected by the parking bans at the city's parking garages and lots. Vehicles must be removed from those lots and garages by 8 a.m. Friday.

York Township: from noon Wednesday until 6 p.m. Thursday.

Shelly Stallsmith is a trends reporter for the York Daily Record. She can be reached at mstallsmith@ydr.com or followed on Twitter at @ShelStallsmith.

This article originally appeared on York Daily Record: Live snow updates: PennDOT lowers highway speeds, schools announcing Thursday closings

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