By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Philadelphia plans to declare a snow emergency at 9 p.m., but it’s already preparing for six to 12 inches of snow, and it starts with thousands of tons of salt.

Chief Highway Engineer Steve Lorenz said, “we’re preparing for a snow event this evening, going over the next day.”

Lorenz says the city expects to have 400 trucks on the road once the snow starts falling.

It begins as a salting operation, then switches to a plowing operation, which he says will be a challenge because of the rate at which the snow is expected to fall.

“As soon as we do a pass, the street will probably be covered in the next 10 to 15 minutes, you won’t even know we were there,” he said.

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The city does main roads first, and any cars parked on a snow emergency route will be towed. Smaller residential streets are in the plan, but will take longer to get to. Tuesday’s trash collection is cancelled, and Wednesday is wait and see.

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