A “kitchen-sink” snowstorm hit the local area with full force early Wednesday morning, bringing with it 6.5 inches of combined snow and sleet, freezing rain and liquid rain in the Williamsport area.
The snowfall record for Feb. 5 remains at 7.8 inches, set in 1908.
According to the National Weather Service, the average snowfall during the winter season in Williamsport is about 41 inches. So far this season the area has seen 31.1 inches of snow.
This weekend forecast has had some people fearing another major snowstorm is on the way. There is a possibility for some snow this weekend, admits weather service meteorologist Danielle Knittle, but nothing like what fell on Wednesday.
“It doesn’t look to be anything too serious,” Knittle said. “It looks like it will produce some mild precipitation.”
Between 1993 and 1994, the area saw a record-breaking 81.3 inches of snow.
Before the storm hit early Wednesday morning, people flocked to local grocery and hardware stores. Wegmans on William Street had twice as many sales and twice as many customers compared to a typical Tuesday night in anticipation of the winter storm, store manager Daniel Taylor said.
The store ordered plenty of eggs, milk and bread when staff heard the storm was going to hit the area, Taylor said.
Although Wegmans doubled its sales Tuesday night, the store only had about a quarter of its usual sales after the storm hit on Wednesday.
At Elery Nau Hardware in Montoursville, business was steady throughout the day on Tuesday, said store associate Paul Early. Customers bought shovels and ice melt to help dig themselves out after the storm hit.
Early said it’s difficult to keep salt in stock and that has been an issue this winter. With all the snowstorms affecting all parts of the country this winter, there is difficulty getting salt to all the stores that need it.
“We are still getting it (salt) in, but just not as frequently,” Early said.
Despite the large amount of snow and ice that fell, the local area was fortunate that there were almost no power outages. Residents in parts of York, Lancaster, Dauphin and other counties in southern Pennsylvania experienced power outages, some due to falling tree limbs.
According to PPL Regional Affairs Director Teri MacBride, one of the reasons this area was so fortunate was because of the utility company’s work to cut back tree limbs and vegetation. PPL works year round to make sure tree limbs are not in danger of falling onto powerlines, MacBride said.
MacBride also said that if a home loses power during a snowstorm, it should be reported to PPL.
“Do not assume someone has already called,” she said.
She also offered these tips:
Open window coverings when the sun is shining to bring in its warmth.
Cover drafty areas, such as doors and windows, with rolled-up blankets to prevent cold outside air from entering.
Do not use ovens or other appliances as heat sources.
Use generators only in well-ventilated areas.