Snow Day: Winter storm hits Philadelphia area

HAVERTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- The snow has begun to fall around the Delaware and Lehigh valleys.

Mobile 6 was taking a ride on I-476 late Wednesday morning as the flakes were coming down in Delaware County.

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Mobile 6 driving through the snow on I-476. Maggie Kent reports during Action News Mornings on February 20, 2019.

Over in Norristown, Montgomery County, dozens of PennDOT trucks loaded up on salt and hit the road.

About 100,000 tons of salt is available for the trucks that'll be deployed throughout the Philadelphia area.

Those out on the roads in the morning noticed that crews had already brined overnight.

But that was only the beginning.

About 400 plow truck drivers will be working 12 hour shifts, even 15 hours, to treat and clear the roadways.

It'll be business as usual except for one thing that you'll likely notice right away. Crews have been instructed not to clear away the initial snowfall.

"When it snows, we will salt it. Since we know sleet and possible rain could be also coming, I instructed my guys to just salt, keep the snow on the ground so there's traction. Because if you take all the snow off the roadway, you have the potential when the rain hits, it freezes," PennDOT's James Brown said.

The evening commute could be a little tricky. When you do see crews working on the roads, officials say to give them plenty of space.

Back in November, drivers were stuck for 12 hours along a 30-mile stretch of I-78 in Northampton County.

When the road finally opened, police had to go around knocking on doors to wake up drivers and get them moving.

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Traffic nightmare on I-78. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at Noon on November 16, 2018.

If you have to hit the road, AAA says to make sure you have tools for this weather. That includes an ice scraper and de-icer.

Keeping a bag of kitty litter in your car can help if you need traction.

Also pack some snacks and a warm blanket in case you do get stuck.

It's also a good idea to charge your cell phone and fill up your car with a full tank of gas.

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Tips for preparing for the winter storm. Katherine Scott reports during Action News Mornings on February 20, 2019.

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