By Mike Dunn
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia’s snow emergency declaration was being lifted at 2pm today, but road crews continue the cleanup.
“We will be working throughout the weekend,” says streets commissioner David Perri, who expects the work to continue for a couple more days, particularly as they try to get to all of the city’s many smaller side streets in the neighborhoods.
Today, he cautioned residents about what to expect:
“Remember, our service standards for the residential streets is to make them passable. In many cases, especially on east-west streets that remain in the shade, it’s not possible to take them down to blacktop.”
Perri (in jeans and ski jacket, right of Mayor Nutter, in photo) says some of the work of the road crews continues to be hindered by drivers who parked on small streets too far from the curb or too close to an intersection (see related story).
“Do not park within twenty feet of a corner of an intersection. We need that extra room for the plows to get by,” he pleaded.
On the primary and secondary roads, Perri says, road crews are trying to get as close to the blacktop as possible, but hard-packed snow and “black ice” could still pose driving hazards (see related story).
“Hard-pack is a combination of snow, sleet, and freezing rain which, when it falls on colder city streets, it turns into an icing condition.”
And he asks drivers to extra care when driving in the vicinity of the road crews.
“Use extra caution if you see these vehicles, and keep a safe distance away from those operations. You can see them better than they can see you,” Perri said.
At the storm’s height, the city had 427 vehicles and 700 workers out, plowing and salting (see related story). And despite the severity of the storm, damage seemed minimal. Officials report only 12 downed trees and seven downed wires throughout the entire city (another related story).