ODOT discourages travel Wednesday through Friday due to winter weather
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is preparing for a major winter storm taking aim at Ohio and the Mahoning Valley beginning Wednesday night.
During this time, ODOT is heavily discouraging any unnecessary travel.
Ohio Governor Mike DeWine says that any unnecessary travel should be avoided in order to give plows space to treat the roads, but if you do have to travel, be sure to drive safely.
"For those who must travel, please be safe and take it slow, giving yourself plenty of time to get to your destination," DeWine said.
In northern Ohio, crews are preparing for a significant amount of snow with some forecasts even calling for over one foot of snow with blowing and drifting conditions due to high winds.
ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks says that even with plow crews out treating roads, roads will likely still be covered in snow and/or ice, so drivers should still give themselves a few extra minutes.
"Once the storm moves out, our crews will be able to make progress toward getting traffic moving at regular speed," Marchbanks said.
They Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will also be working to treat roads in Mercer County.
PennDOT Press Officer, Jill Harry tells 21 News that Mercer County Maintenance Manager, Darrell Chapman plans to clear snow from the shoulders of the roadways to open up drainage in case of snow melts or rainfall in the Mercer County area.
Harry also tells us that Chapman is currently performing maintenance on Mercer County plow vehicles so they're ready to go for the storm.
She tells us that generally, PennDOT assess the forecast and road conditions and plan from there. Harry says PennDOT takes care of priority roads such as interstates first, followed by secondary roads such as Route 18 and Route 62 and finally rural roads.
There is about 1,700 miles of road for crews to treat in the Mercer County area.
Stay tuned to 21 News for the latest info on parking bans, cancellations and delays for the Mahoning and Shenango Valley.