Rain and cold weather caused traffic accidents and road closures throughout Centre County Saturday as the area faced the first severe ice of the winter.
State Department of Transportation road crews were active throughout the day as conditions required, spokeswoman Marla Fannin said. Police were also busy responding to accidents.
“We handled four or five due to the icy roadways, none of which resulted in any serious injury,” State College police Lt. Bradley Smail said in an email.
State police at Philipsburg responded to “between 15 and 20” crashes by Saturday evening. Rockview state police reported responding to “multiple” crashes throughout the day and were still receiving calls into the evening.
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Ferguson Township police reported two crashes by 6 p.m., Sgt. Chris Albright said, one of which sheared off a light pole in front of Far Corners Asian Market, 1012 W. College Ave.
Mount Nittany Medical Center received some patients due to the crashes but none with serious injuries.
Road closures on the two interstates in the county caused congestion and long waits for motorists. Interstate 99 was closed from Port Matilda to Grays Woods for much of the afternoon and reopened at about 7 p.m. Accidents closed parts of I-80 well into the evening.
Police weren’t the only ones busy Saturday.
Cathy Tennis, owner of John Tennis Towing Inc., said the company received a lot of calls throughout the day and it was hard to keep track of the total number. The volume really picked up by 3 p.m. and calls in State College and on I-99 were answered, she said.
The backed-up traffic and weather conditions often made it hard for her drivers to get to where they were going and return.
Conditions are expected to improve Sunday. The weather will be mostly cloudy in the morning turning to partly sunny in the afternoon. Highs are expected to reach the upper 40s. Monday’s high is expected to be 60 degrees, said Tony Mach, of the National Weather Service.