As Pennsylvania prepares for what forecasters are predicting is going to be a long night, local law enforcement agencies and organizations are working to keep the community and roadways safe.
Locally, the State College Police Department is working to increase their staffing numbers, as well as put more officers on call, Lt. Chris Fishel said.
While Monday didn’t yield many weather-related calls, he said the officers were aware that the storm’s major damage was predicted to hit overnight, and the department was responding accordingly.
Typically, Fishel said police handle road closings and responses to people trapped in their cars by fallen debris.
Fishel said the department would continue to respond to calls on a case-by-case basis as the storm progresses.
As of press time Monday, police could not confirm any damage estimates or weather-related accidents within the borough.
The Centre Region Council of Governments Chairman Mark Stevenson declared an emergency at 9 a.m. Monday for the six municipalities in the Centre region, including College, Ferguson, Halfmoon, Harris and Patton Townships, according to a release issued by the Centre Region Council of Governments Office of Emergency Management.
Due to the emergency state, the Centre Region Emergency Operations Center has been partially activated and is being manned by Centre Region and Penn State staff.
In response to the emergency state, the State College Borough has closed down a portion of Easterly Parkway at University Drive that is currently under construction, due to roadway damage in need of repair.
The contractor will plan to make the necessary repairs and open the road today, but it will be contingent on the weather.
The emergency management staff is also encouraging residents to stay up-to-date by following the “Centre Region Ready” Facebook page, which is being continually updated with the latest information.
Late Monday afternoon, a portion of Route 322 between Philipsburg and Interstate 99 was closed due to an accident in the eastbound lane. Pennsylvania State Police at Philipsburg could not confirm whether the crash was a result of the weather.
Route 322 was reopened by 5:30 p.m., police said.