<strong> UPDATE: 3:21PM 12/26/12 </strong>
Non-essential state employees have been sent home early as winter storm Euclid spreads across the state. A thin layer of ice under a quickly falling snow has made travel throughout western Pennsylvania extremely difficult on this day-after Christmas.
Pennsylvania State Police have closed Route 28 in both directions from Harmarville (Exit 11) to Tarentum (Exit 14). Turnpike officials have declared a weather emergency and have lowered the speed limit to 45 mph from the Ohio state line to the Blue Mountain Tunnel.
The huge storm has caused a slew of flights to be canceled and others to be delayed by as much as an hour at Pittsburgh International Airport. The Port Authority of Allegheny County says its buses are running at least 30 minutes late but the T is reportedly doing well.
Pittsburgh Parks facilities closed at 2:00pm Wednesday due to the snow and many local businesses shut their doors in the early afternoon. Public safety officials throughout the region are asking residents to stay home if at all possible. A myriad of traffic accidents and stranded cars has made it tough for snowplows to make their rounds.
PennDOT crews along with city and county public works department employees are out in force. The city says it has 50 pieces of equipment on the streets trying to combat the slick conditions. PennDOT tried to pretreat some trouble spots but t had little success.
The National Weather Services is calling for a mix of more snow, ice, and rain as we move into the afternoon and evening hours. As much as a foot of snow could fall in Erie County while Allegheny County is expected to get 4-6 inches.
High winds could make driving conditions even worse. Wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour have been forecast.