HARRISBURG – Responding to a request from Massachusetts, PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike are prepared to send crews and equipment to assist with snow removal after repeated significant snow storms.
Massachusetts requested the aid through the Emergency Management Assistance Compact, or EMAC, coordinated through the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.
“We never know when winter weather or other emergencies will strike, so interstate cooperation is important in these times of need,” Acting PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards said.
“Our emergency management procedures allow us to quickly mobilize assistance when we can spare our resources, and I commend our highway crews for answering the call to help out.”
PennDOT and the PA Turnpike have identified staff and equipment across the state that could leave as soon as tomorrow for Massachusetts, including:
•18 plow and mechanic trucks, three backhoes and three lowboy tractor trailers to transport backhoes from PennDOT’s Montoursville, King of Prussia and Uniontown-based regions;
•at least 27 operators and other staff from those same PennDOT regions and its Clearfield-based office; and
•10 equipment operators, two mechanics and two assistant foremen with five dump trucks and five backhoes from PA Turnpike operations across the state.
“We were happy to respond to MassDOT’s request for the additional resources needed to dig out from the massive amount of snow they received,” PA Turnpike Commission Chairman Sean Logan said.
“We determined that we could provide them the personnel and equipment without jeopardizing our own operations or the safety of our customers.”
If Massachusetts does not rescind the request PennDOT crews will leave on Thursday, Feb. 12, and PA Turnpike forces will leave on Friday. Each organization’s crews may stay up to seven days. Through the EMAC, Massachusetts will reimburse PennDOT and the PA Turnpike for any incurred costs.
The EMAC is a congressionally ratified mutual aid compact that legally establishes a national system to facilitate resources across state lines during an emergency or disaster.
To learn more about emergency operations in Pennsylvania visit www.pema.pa.gov.