PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The second half of the latest snowstorm to hit the Delaware Valley really packed a wallop, dropping more than a foot of snow in many areas and catching some residents by surprise.
All Philadelphia public and archdiocesan schools were closed on Thursday.
SEPTA suspended all city and suburban bus service at midnight. Just a few bus lines resumed by 7 AM, and more by 10 AM.
The Broad Street subway and Market-Frankford subway-elevated lines were operating. Trolley line 15 was suspended. Other trolley routes were in operation, with delays up to 30 minutes; the Norristown High Speed Line resumed service about 5:30am.
Regional Rail lines were operating, but with delays.
Commuters are strongly urged to check septa.org for updates.
New Jersey Transit suspended all bus service into and out of Philadelphia. Trains were running with 30-minute delays.
PATCO is on a snow schedule, with no express service. The DRPA has reduced the speed on its bridges to 25 mph.
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Crews from PennDOT and the New Jersey Department of Transportation were out in force on major highways throughout the region, plowing and salting, as were city streets crews in Philadelphia (above).
KYW’s Mike Dunn reports from Philadelphia City Hall that as many residents await the arrival of plows, Mayor Nutter was defending the city’s snow response.
Streets Department officials said that as of 9 AM city plows had reached about 20 percent of secondary and side streets in the city.
The mayor (right) was making no apologizes for the city’s snow response — and in fact, he says, he’s proud of the overnight efforts of Streets Department crews given that the amount of snow accumulation was about twice what had been predicted.
“They are working very, very hard,” he said at a 9 AM press conference. “It’s a lot of snow. It came down furiously. And we were also impacted by any number of vehicles that were stuck or abandoned in the roadways as well.”
The mayor was once again urging residents to get their sidewalks cleared as soon as possible.
Philadelphia and many other municipalities have declared snow emergencies. In Philadelphia, cars left parked on snow emergency routes were being relocated by tow trucks.
Trash and recycling collections in Philadelphia were delayed one day for the remainder of the week.
PECO, the electric utility, reported that about 15,000 customers were without power on Thursday morning, mostly in Chester and Bucks counties. PSE&G in New Jersey was reporting that about 2,500 customers in Medford, Cherry Hill, and Voorhees were without power.
Suburban fire departments were asking homeowners who have fire hydrants on near their property to dig out the hydrants so fire crews can gain access to them in an emergency.
The National Weather Service provided the following unofficial snow totals:
16.5 inches in Northeast Philadelphia, 15 at Philadelphia International Airport.
— Montgomery County: 16 inches in Wynnewood, 14 in Abington, 13.6 in King of Prussia.
— Bucks County: 17 inches in Bensalem, 12.5 in Southampton.
— Delaware County: 15 inches in Drexel Hill, 14 in Media.
— Chester County: 16 inches in Downingtown.
— In South Jersey, 12 inches in Mount Holly and Sicklerville, 17.2 in Gibbstown.
About 1,500 air travelers spent the night at Philadelphia International Airport. The airport provided blankets, pillows, snacks, diapers for babies, and similar items. A couple of airport food vendors also remained open to ease the pain for those stranded.
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Airport officials said one runway was operating as of 5:00am but further delays and cancellations were expected. Numerous cancellations were reported by Southwest, Delta, US Airways, and other airlines. Air travelers are advised to call their airline or check the airport’s web site, PHL.org.
KYW’s David Madden reports from the airport that by mid-morning, flight operations were pretty much back to normal but it was expected to take a while to handle all those travelers whose flight plans were changed by Mother Nature.
And, the Atlantic City Rail Line was not operating between Philadelphia and Cherry Hill this morning because the Delair Bridge over the Delaware River was stuck in the open position.
Reported by Ed Fischer, KYW Newsradio 1060.