By Mike Dougherty
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A blanket of ice covered the region early Sunday morning, causing all sorts of problems for commuters.
For many, whether it was on foot, by car or public transportation, getting around proved very difficult. Unless you were wearing metal spikes, walking on sidewalks was downright dangerous.
“Very slippery! I didn’t know it was ice until I got up on it and I fell.”
And area roads were a nightmare. Major highways were cleared rather quickly and covered with salt, but many side streets were untreated. Even getting out of the driveway was no easy task.
The slippery conditions were to blame for multiple accidents and road closures throughout the tri-state area, and speed restrictions were in effect for many of the major roadways. Police were urging drivers throughout the region to stay off the roads and avoid unnecessary travel (see related story).
PennDOT spokesman Gene Blaum says he would much rather deal with several inches of snow rather than freezing rain.
“The challenge with freezing rain, the pavement can freeze immediately upon contact,” Blaum says. “So you can have a widespread area of ice on several roads. Snow does not instantly freeze.”
SEPTA suffered some power problems on regional rails, causing some delays and many bus routes were detoured.
At Philadelphia International Airport, flights were delayed by an average of about two hours, well into the afternoon.