Nor'easter deals Pa. a glancing blow after Sandy

PHILADELPHIA - November 8, 2012

Philadelphia's northern suburbs got the worst of the snow Wednesday night, seeing at least two inches in Langhorne, Bucks County.

Utility and transportation officials were keeping a wary eye on the storm in Sandy's wake, but major roadways were clear as of Thursday morning.

The wintry storm added slightly to the difficulty for utility companies just recovering from record outages brought by Sandy. FirstEnergy and PPL reported a total of 415 customers without power early Thursday, and Peco reported only scattered outages.

The storm was expected to bring a combination of wind-blown snow, sleet and freezing rain to eastern Pennsylvania into Thursday morning, with 2 to 4 inches of accumulation possible, the National Weather Service said.

The storm could test utilities and road crews still cleaning up from Sandy, which knocked out power to hundreds of thousands and forced road closures last week. The latest weather could also possibly delay assessments of damage from Sandy, according to Ruth Miller, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

FirstEnergy and PPL reported a total of 415 customers without power early Thursday, and Peco reported only scattered outages. Peco said it had finished restoring power to suburban Philadelphia customers knocked out by Sandy, the worst storm in terms of outages in the company's history.

The utility had 2,000 people out in the field ready to deal with the latest weather, including extra manpower brought in from out of state to deal with Sandy, a spokeswoman said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation had 2,200 trucks ready statewide Wednesday and was prepared to salt roadways as needed, according to spokesman Steve Chizmar.

PennDOT still had a few roads closed due to downed wires from Sandy in eastern Pennsylvania, he said.

"We'll continue to monitor the situation," Chizmar said. "This is pretty much a routine storm."

At Philadelphia International Airport, about 10 percent of flights were canceled Wednesday, mostly due to the high winds that can impact the smaller planes used on regional flights, and the weather also caused some arrival and departure delays, airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said.

Some schools in the Philadelphia suburbs closed early or canceled after-school activities.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said the city was carefully tracking the storm and that the Streets Department was prepared with plows and salt if needed. He said he did not expect it to cause major flooding problems, but encouraged citizens to be careful - especially considering the possibility of downed trees and power lines.

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