PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Thousands remain without power following an overachieving winter storm that dumped more than a foot of snow on the Philadelphia area.

PECO spokesman Ben Armstrong says about 8,000 customers were without electric service around noon following the overnight storm. That’s down from about 15,000 earlier Thursday.

The storm turned out to be a bit of a surprise. Early forecasts had predicted 8 to 12 inches, but Philadelphia got just over 15 inches at the airport and 17 inches in the Somerton neighborhood.

The worst of the outages were in the western suburbs in southern Chester County. Armstrong says heavy, wet snow snapped tree branches and took down entire trees. But those without power represent less than 1 percent of Peco’s customer base.

Air, rail and street transportation was returning to normal across the region as crews continued the arduous task of digging out.

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