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    Northeast blizzard strands motorists on Pennsylvania Turnpike for more than 24 hours

    By by Jillian MacMath, AccuWeather.com Staff Writer
    January 26, 2016, 12:47:40 PM EST

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    The National Guard was on scene in Bedford County Saturday morning to assist motorists stranded in feet of snow on the Pennsylvania Turnpike near Somerset.

    Tractor trailers were unable to climb a hill near the Allegheny tunnels on Saturday night, causing traffic to back up on the roadway.

    As the backlog increased, emergency crews were unable to get tow trucks and snow plows on scene.

    Among the stranded was the Duquesne Dukes men's basketball team, attempting to return to Pittsburgh after a game against George Mason in Fairfax, Virginia, on Friday.

    "We're just bunkered down," Duquesne Coach Jim Ferry told SportsCenter on Saturday morning.

    "We've got a good group of guys and we've all just kind of hung out and had a good time with each other, watched a movie, guys were goofin' and laughing and on their phones. Hours turned into hours and hours and hours."

    The team finally made it back to campus on Saturday night, 30 hours after their initial departure.

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    A bus carrying the Temple University women's gymnastics team was also stuck in the wintry conditions for more than 13 hours.

    First responders were performing driver checks from ATVs to ensure the safety of those stranded.

    After temperatures dipped into the low teens overnight, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has provided fuel to those that need it so that drivers can continue running heat in their vehicles.

    A state of emergency was declared for Pennsylvania in advance of the weekend snowstorm, allowing state and local officials to respond quickly to areas in need.

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