PA Turnpike defends actions after 500 cars stranded in storm

The turnpike commission chairman says they got a forecast for inches rather than feet of snow.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) – A Pennsylvania Turnpike official says the agency relied on an early, less-serious forecast in preparing for last month’s snowstorm that left hundreds of motorists stranded.

Turnpike Commission Chairman Sean Logan testified Tuesday before a state Senate committee on the state’s response to the storm.

He says officials planned around a Jan. 22 mid-afternoon advisory that called for a “manageable range” of snow in central Pennsylvania. He says it predicted about eight inches of snow.

Logan says they didn’t get their next update with predictions to a foot or two of snow until almost 10 p.m. Lawmakers countered that TV news had updated predictions throughout the day.

More than 500 vehicles were stranded for almost 24 hours on a 16-mile stretch of the turnpike 80 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

It started when two tractor-trailers became disabled and blocked lanes.

(Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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