By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The City of Philadelphia is struggling to recover from yesterday’s snowstorm.
On Wednesday, Mayor Nutter said the city’s snow emergency will be lifted as of 6 p.m., and that the nonessential portions of city government that were closed Wednesday will be open Thursday.
The mayor says the immediate goal of snow-plowing crews is to make about 80 percent of city streets at least “passable” by Thursday morning.
“Passable means that you can actually drive on the street with caution, but there may still be some snow or slush on that street,” Nutter explained, noting that it did not mean the street was clear of now.
The biggest problem facing the crews, of course, is the extreme cold, which inhibits the effectiveness of road salt.
Nutter expects the full cleanup will go into the weekend.
“This will be a marathon cleanup effort that will stretch more than likely into Saturday before we consider our work done,” he said. “We still have a lot of work to do.”
City trash collection is scheduled to resume Thursday, with neighborhoods whose normal collection day is Wednesday.
If your pickup day is normally Tuesday and you would have put the trash out Wednesday (because of the Monday holiday), Nutter says to take it back in and hold it for a week.
Overall, the mayor urges residents to remain at home and have some patience.
“The tendency is that many are off, they want to go to all kinds of places. The less traffic we have, the better we’re able to get the city back in shape for tomorrow,” he said.
Another issue facing the city, according to Nutter, is traffic signals freezing up in the cold (See Related Story).
“We still have a somewhat old traffic signal network. And when you’re at zero and two degrees, you will experience some failures.”
Nutter says virtually all parts of the city saw about a foot of snow, which is unusual. Most storms dump uneven amounts of snow, sparing some areas and hitting others much harder.