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PennDOT command center busy during bad weather

Updated: Tuesday, January 21 2014, 06:53 PM CST
Reported by: Kyle Rogers

HARRISBURG -- As PennDOT crews battle the wintry elements on Tuesday, a handful of fellow workers are inside monitoring dozens of traffic cameras at its command center.

Inside PennDOT headquarters, staffers watched over dozens of cameras showing the snowy conditions of major state roads throughout the Susquehanna Valley. 

“We’re really concerned on the traffic side of things,” said PennDOT spokesman Mike Crochunis. 

Aside from watching the cameras, the team multi-tasks by listening to scanners and taking phone calls from field crews while watching weather and news reports from local media.

Viewed real-time, the cameras often assist dispatchers before help is called. 
“We’re able to verify the location of the incident and working with state police and management to get them,” said Crochunis.

Those trained, watchful eyes are essential for first responders. The team inside its Herr Street facilities witnessed cars spinning out, disabled vehicles, truckers jack-knifing, and witnessed at least three trucks overturn. 

“In the past, when we didn’t have cameras, we were going on heresay unless somebody was on occasion and could verify where the event was,” Crochunis added.

PennDOT’s fleet was out in full-force for the massive snow storm batting the Northeast. Crews will be out in full force monitoring and treating the roadways.PennDOT command center busy during bad weather

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