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Last updated: February 20. 2013 4:02AM - 590 Views

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A winter storm brought a mixture of snow, sleet and rain across Northeastern Pennsylvania on Monday that caused many accidents, forced schools to close and made travel difficult.


But the wintry weather should be behind us for a little while, according to the National Weather Service in Binghamton, N.Y.


Meteorologist Joanne LaBounty said there was just about an inch of snow on the ground and milder temperatures are on the way for the next couple of days.


This week we should see a warm-up, LaBounty said. Rain will be the main precipitation through Wednesday night. Then we will see the temperatures start to cool down by the end of the week.


The mini warm-up and any accompanying melting of snow and ice aren't expected to cause any Susquehanna River flooding. The river was at 6.77 feet Monday night and is forecast to hit a maximum 12.5 feet by 7 a.m. Thursday, well below the flood stage of 22 feet.


LaBounty said Wednesday could see temperatures in the 50s and then back down into the 30s and 20s by Friday, with lows in the teens over the weekend.


Temperatures already reached just above freezing on Monday, a welcome change from last week, when a four-day cold snap left temps lingering in the teens and single digits before they began climbing into the 20s over the weekend, and a walk outside became a bit more bearable.


Monday's commutes to and from work, however, were anything but easy for many. More than a dozen crashes were reported on the interstates and side roads in Luzerne County, including several vehicles that overturned, several others that hit trees or poles and one that went into a pond.


Roadways with numerous accidents include interstates 80 and 81 and the Northeast Extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike. Other accidents were reported on Route 437 in White Haven and Route 115 in Bear Creek Township. A vehicle slid off Deer Run Road in Plymouth Township and into the woods about 8:30 p.m. Monday.


The winter mix that weather forecasters had predicted was right on target. The day began with snow, followed by sleet and freezing rain and ending with a steady rainfall, though some places saw lingering freezing-rain showers or drizzle into the night. About a quarter-inch of rain fell in the Wilkes-Barre area, according to the NWS.


With schools closed and senior centers shutting down, routines were adjusted to accommodate children staying home and seniors unable to visit their favorite spots.


The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation said it was working to keep roads treated, but drivers were cautioned to beware of possible icy conditions throughout Monday. The storm was being blamed for fender-benders across the state.


Some public forums were postponed, including:


• Dallas Township comprehensive plan/visioning meeting that had been scheduled for Monday evening was postponed to 7 tonight because of icy roads.


• The West Side Career and Technology Center board meeting was postponed and rescheduled for Feb. 4.



Times Leader staff writer Steve Mocarsky contributed to this report.


UPCOMING WEATHER


Today: Fog in the a.m., then a shower, high of 46, low of 41.



Wednesday: Rain, morning fog, high of 58, low of 36.



Thursday: Colder with flurries, high of 40, low of 20.


See the full forecast on Page 12A.



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