PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) –Residents across the Delaware Valley dealt with their first taste of wintry weather this season, and the storm brought much more snow than predicted, making roads around our region icy and treacherous.
People around the Center City seemed pleased about the early snowfall.
“It is beautiful out here. It feels nice. If it’s gonna snow, it’s gonna snow,” said Brendan Mulry, of Roxborough.
“I love the snow,” another person said.
It’s the first snowfall in Philadelphia, since April 2nd—7 months and 13 day’s ago.
Last year, it didn’t start snowing in the city until Dec. 9. In fact, the last time it snowed in the city in November was in 2008.
It was hard to reach 10 miles per hour on I-95 heading to Bensalem in Bucks County.
“It was really bad on Street Road. I was stuck at one light for 15 minutes trying to pick up my son,” said Naomi Brandes.
Lots of snow coupled with lots crashes on the Pensylvania Turnpike now has a speed restriction in place to 45 mph in Lehigh County.
But students from Allentown’s high school sure don’t mind the snow. They were dismissed early today before any snow fell at all.
“I’m so excited. It’s snow, but it’s not that much snow. If it was a lot of snow, I’d build a snowman or something like that,” said Ayah Aisset.
“The past years it hasn’t snowed that much, so it’s pretty exciting that there’s gonna be snow this time around,” said Jalell Gonzalez.
Several other school districts in the Lehigh Valley also dismissed schools early, including Bethlehem, Nazareth, Northampton and East Penn.
Meantime inside Nick’s Diner, some kept warm, sipping on some hot chocolate, ready for the holiday season.
“It does put you in the holiday mood. It’s chilly outside. Everyone wants to get warm share meals with their families,” said Ashleagh Ferrell, a waitress at the diner.
The first snowfall in King of Prussia turned into sleet which caused dangerous road conditions.
“It’s real bad. It’s getting real bad,” said Eric Haughton.
Montgomery County’s Department of Public Safety says there have been more than 250 accidents on the roads with an extra 350 disabled vehicles.
Haughton is delivering gas at a Wawa on Route 202.
It took him an hour and 45 minutes to get from Philly to this station. A drive that normally takes 45 minutes.
“I was talking with my buddy earlier he’d seen cars on top on their rooftops. Slow down, you shouldn’t be out here, stay home if you ain’t gotta do what I’m doing, don’t come out here,” he said.
Plow truck driver David Mell can attest.
“Even with a plow truck, you still gotta be careful. Four-wheel drives are great for starting out. It’s stopping where you have a problem. You gotta really be careful,” says Mell.
Thursday tow truck drivers responded to hundreds of crashes and drivers stranded on the side of the road throughout our area like Above and Beyond Towing.
“It’s been hectic. Right up the block a car went into the cemetery gate. It’s been crazy,” said Scott McCarthy, owner of Beyond Towing.
He says he’s been helping stranded drivers since 7 a.m. Thursday and he doesn’t expect to finish for the day until 3 or 4 Friday morning.
“We’ll go home get a couple hours of sleep then we’ll try to get back out at 7 a.m.,” said McCarthy.
In parts of New Jersey, it was a mixture of freezing rain and sleet.
Snow totals have increased for Northwest counties, prompting a Winter Storm Warning in Sussex, Morris, and Warren counties. Light snow accumulations are forecasted to extend further east into Salem, Gloucester, Camden, and Burlington counties.
At the Philadelphia International Airport, 3.6 inches of snow was reported.
And the totals just increased from there:
Bear, Del. = 4.0 inches of snow
W. Deptford, NJ = 4.0 inches of snow
Springtown, PA = 8.5 inches of snow
Mt. Pocono, PA = 10 inches of snow.