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Snow, Then Bitter Cold, Makes Even Walking Around Town Dicey

(Blanche Wills, of Honduras, found a coffee shop to help her deal with the unfamiliar weather.  Photo by Paul Kurtz)

(Blanche Wills, of Honduras, found a coffee shop to help her deal with the unfamiliar weather. Photo by Paul Kurtz)

Paul Kurtz Paul Kurtz
Paul Kurtz is a Philadelphia native who has been working as a reporter...
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By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — If you have to walk outside today, be very careful. Many sidewalks are icy.

Rachel Bagell was among the brave few who ventured out in the frigid cold this morning.  But she had no choice.

“I have to take the dog out,” she said.  “It’s hard, especially when it’s 8 degrees and she just wants to walk and walk and walk.”

Megan Gillen works in King of Prussia, but after stepping outside her Old City condo she decided to turn around and go back inside.

“There’s a lot of ice,” she noted.  “My car is totally under snow, and the road in front of it probably has a foot of snow in it.  So I will not be getting in today.”

One woman shuffling her way up Third Street knew how to handle to icy sidewalks.

“It’s the penguin shuffle,” she explained.  “(If) you don’t pick up your feet, you never fall down. That’s how penguins do it in the Arctic.”

(A woman in Old City Philadelphia shows her "penguin shuffle" for dealing with icy sidewalks.  Photo by Paul Kurtz)

(A woman in Old City Philadelphia shows her “penguin shuffle” for dealing with icy sidewalks. Photo by Paul Kurtz)

Coffee shops stood out as warm beacons on such a frigid morning.

Blanche Wills (top photo), a native of Honduras (where the temperature never dips below 60), had to walk about eight blocks from the Greyhound bus station to find that coffee shop.

“I’m so unfunctional when it comes to this weather,” she admits.  “It’s now after my tea that I have been able to verbalize and put words together again.”

She said it was by far the coldest weather she’s ever experienced.

Meanwhile, plow operators were working all morning, coming to the end of a very long shift.

“Came out about 3 o’clock yesterday (afternoon),” said one.  “Been out ever since. Got one more stop, and then I’m going to sleep.”