Snow emergency lifted in Philadelphia

December 27, 2010 8:34:10 PM PST
The skies cleared, airport runways reopened and city workers trudged back to work Monday in Philadelphia, where the winter storm that sacked the East Coast dumped a foot of snow and postponed an NFL game.

As of 9:00 p.m. Monday, the city lifted its snow emergency. Trash pickup will resume Tuesday on a normal schedule. To prevent collection vehicles from becoming stuck on impassable rear driveways, residents are asked to place their collections at curbside for pick up for the duration of the week. Rear driveway collections will resume next week. As a reminder, residents whose regular collection is on Monday should set out their collections for pick up next Monday, January 3.

If your car was towed during the emergency, you should call 3-1-1 for its location. Do not call 911.

Streets Commissioner Tolson asks residents to continue to follow regulations so crews can continue to with snow removal efforts from the roadways:

  • Clear a sidewalk path at least 36" wide within 6 hours as listed in the Philadelphia Code (10-720) and to allow for safe passage of pedestrians.
  • Apply any commercial de-icer on steps and sidewalks early to prevent residual moisture from freezing over and creating icy conditions.
  • Park vehicles at least 20 feet from the corner, as required by law. Cars parked too close to the corner limit our ability to salt and plow roads.
  • It is dangerous and illegal to shovel or plow snow into the street. Placing snow in the street after it has been cleared will create dangerous icy patches.
  • Please place snow in a safe place on your property so that snow mounds do not obstruct the cleared pathway.
  • Drive with caution as black ice is expected to form on the roadways.
  • Clear snow from neighborhood sewer drains to allow melting snow to drain.
  • Check on sick and elderly neighbors.

    All four runways at Philadelphia International Airport were open for business Monday afternoon. But they had sparse traffic as airlines canceled 600 flights due to conditions elsewhere or difficulty getting planes to Philadelphia.

    About 1,200 people stranded overnight by the storm were being rebooked, airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said. Many other travelers stayed home Monday after learning from their carriers that their flights had been canceled, she said.

    "It really looks great when you walk through the terminal," Lupica said.

    Municipal and court employees were denied an extra day at home, as the city lifted a state of emergency and opened for business.

    But even as the snow moved out, the state Department of Transportation advised motorists in eastern Pennsylvania to beware of strong winds that could cause snow drifts and to watch for downed trees and utility wires.

    The National Weather Service was forecasting winds of 25 mph to 35 mph, with gusts up to 50 mph, through Monday evening.

    The storm dumped 12.4 inches of snow at Philadelphia's airport, the highest snow total in the metropolitan region, the weather service said. The city's seasonal average is 19 inches.

    The storm missed western Pennsylvania and left just a few inches in the central and northeastern parts of the state.

    Allentown received just under 3 inches and Blakeslee, Monroe County, received about 6 inches, according to the weather service. Utility companies were resolving scattered power outages in eastern and central Pennsylvania, although they were keeping an eye on the windy conditions.

    "We've been fortunate to have that light, fluffy snow," Peco spokeswoman Karen Muldoon Geus said. "If we had had the (heavy) snow that really tends to weigh down trees and power lines, then we would have been in a different situation."

    In the northwest corner of the state, the small town of Kane reported its snowiest December on record. The 59.7 inches recorded broke the record of 49.5 inches posted in December 1992, the National Weather Service told the Bradford Era.

    The Philadelphia Eagles, meanwhile, were preparing to host the first NFL game to be played on a Tuesday in 64 years. The league called off the game before the first flakes arrived Sunday, citing public safety concerns.

    The visiting Minnesota Vikings spent some of Monday eating cheesesteaks while awaiting Tuesday's game, while the Eagles savored a division title they earned despite the impromptu day of rest.


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