‘Nuisance’ ice storm short-lived in Centre County

CDT photo

Deb Morrow grabbed an oversized red sweater, slipped on her boyfriend’s snow boots, ran outside, and salted part of the sidewalk Saturday morning outside a duplex on Turnpike Street in Milesburg.

She said the last thing she wanted was for someone to slip.

“It’s cold out, but only takes a minute to drop the salt so no one trips outside the door,” Morrow said.

As predicted by the National Weather Service, Saturday saw a wave of sleet and freezing rain in Centre County.

NWS meteorologist John LaCorte said the county received the worst of the storm in the morning between about 8 a.m. and 11 a.m. with less than an inch of ice buildup.

“More than anything it’s a nuisance,” LaCorte said. “The big problem with freezing rain is that it takes down trees and power lines. Sleet isn’t much of a problem because it tends not to stick.”

“The worst part was in the morning when it dropped below freezing,” LaCorte said. “The roads were treated ahead of time so driving wasn’t too bad. … The worst parts were the off-ramps.”

By about 1:30 p.m. Saturday, state police reported about a half dozen vehicle accidents in Centre County due to weather, which were mainly classified as fender benders.

Dispatchers said a woman complained of a head injury after a one-vehicle accident on I-99 north in Worth Township near mile marker 60, after she slid off the road at about noon.

Trooper Mike Wasilko at the Philipsburg barracks said two single-vehicle accidents were reported earlier in the morning — one on I-99 south near mile marker 63, and another on I-99 north at the ramp of Exit 61 near Port Matilda.

Both vehicles were towed, but no injuries were reported, Wasilko said.

The ice melted by late afternoon as temperatures rose into the mid-30s, LaCorte said.

No snow was reported in Centre County on Saturday, LaCorte said.

Snowfall in November totaled 5.2 inches, while snowfall in December totaled 2.5 inches, according to information from the NWS.

LaCorte said the area will get steady rain with highs near 50 degrees on Sunday, but will cool off into the mid-20s Sunday night and into Monday and Tuesday with a stray snow flurry.