Winter storm impacting Love's Customers in Mid-Atlantic states
A major winter storm is impacting the Mid-Atlantic with more than a foot of snow, more on the way and blizzard conditions expected by Tuesday night. The storm has stalled traffic in parts of Pennsylvania and New York, and it's definitely affecting professional drivers at Love's locations throughout the area.
Love's 611 General Manager Tom Gabriel reports a foot of snow on the ground in Canaan, New York, and another foot coming. His focus is on keeping the Customers who can't get back on the interstates warm and happy.
"It's definitely a challenge on a day like today, but we're going to take care of our Customers," he said.
Across New York in Binghamton, Love's 403 General Manager Phil Horan said they're expecting another 18 inches on top of the 12 they have already received.
"We are diligently plowing, shoveling, snow-blowing to keep everything clear," Horan said.
New York and Pennsylvania are under states of emergency, and travel has been banned in many locations. In New York, tractor-trailer traffic has been banned on interstates 81, 84, 86, 88, Route 17 and the New York State Thruway through 9 a.m. Wednesday. In Pennsylvania, there is a ban on tandem truck trailers, empty trailers, towed trailers, buses, recreational vehicles and motorcycles on interstates 70, 76, 78, 80, 81, 83, 84, 283, 176, 180, 476, 380 and all expressways not on the interstate system.
It's a full house at Love's 324 in Mifflinville, Pennsylvania, as the parking lot is filled with professional drivers who have nowhere to go.
"We've had some guys try to leave, and they're just getting stuck," said shift leader Gene Hunsinger.
Hunsinger said his store is focused on keeping stranded Customers warm and happy.
"We'd just like to offer them something hot to drink and a warm place to rest, anything we can do to help our Customers make the best of a bad weather situation," Hunsinger said.
Love's 535 General Manager Art Spearritt lauded the huge team effort at our locations throughout the region moments after he finished a shift atop a snowplow. His store in Middletown, Pennsylvania, has received 15 to 20 inches of snow since 11 p.m. Monday, and they expect more.
"It's just a huge team effort out here and at all our stores in the region. Our team and all these teams are working really hard," Spearritt said. "(I'm) so proud of them."
Spearritt's store is filled with Customers who have gathered in the restaurant to watch updates.
"We're all watching the news together and visiting with (the Customers), making sure they're happy," he said.
District Manager Jim Savoie echoed Spearritt's praise, adding that the dedication of his managers and their teams "blew him away." Savoie specifically mentioned Greg Napierala, general manager at Love's 358 in Hamburg, Pennsylvania, one of the areas hardest hit by the storm. Napierala got to the travel stop on Monday night, ahead of the storm, to be sure he'd be there come morning.
Here's what it looked like in Hamburg by midday Tuesday.
"My entire district has gone above and beyond to serve our Customers," Savoie said. "It's a tough day with tough weather but my team has gone above and beyond, and their dedication is very appreciated."