An update from the earlier story on Saturday...the bus carrying the St. Mary's Youth Group has finally moved and they are sheltering in a high school in Bedford, PA tonight. Earlier in the evening, the Pennsylvania National Guard provided MRE (meals ready to eat) to the many stranded passengers on the PA Turnpike. The group from St. Mary's had been on their bus for about 24 hours, stuck in traffic and the snow. More updates as they become available on Sunday. Thanks to the families who are keeping us posted here in the Riverbend!
(Previous story) The big winter storm for the eastern part of the U.S. has impacted local groups trying to get home from the March for Life in Washington DC. Eight members of St. Mary's Parish in Alton, along with about 50 other passengers from the Belleville Catholic Diocese, have been sitting on a bus on the Pennsylvania Turnpike that has been stopped in traffic since last night. The bus was attempting to beat the storm but was stopped by a traffic back up due to an accident.
The passengers have been passing the time with movies, games, snacks and sleep. Thankfully the bus had refueled and the passengers ate dinner just before getting on the highway last night, so the bus has been running to keep everyone warm. The Pennsylvania National Guard has been called out to assist motorists, but there's no word on when traffic will be cleared. Passengers from St. Mary's estimate well over a foot of snow has fallen since they were stopped more than 12 hours ago. Meanwhile, a group from Our Lady Queen of Peace church in Bethalto left Washington DC a little earlier in the day on Friday and has been able to stay ahead of the worst of the storm and were last in Dayton, Ohio. They hope to be back home later today.