PHILADELPHIA – The City is forecast to receive 12 to 18 inches of accumulating snow from a nor’easter that began today and is predicted to end tomorrow evening. The National Weather Service Winter Storm Warning is in effect through Thursday at 2 am.
With another storm occurring, Managing Director Michael DiBerardinis announced that a Snow Emergency will be declared for the City of Philadelphia beginning 9 am on Wednesday, March 21, 2018.
For citizens, a Snow Emergency means all parked cars must be moved off Snow Emergency routes for plowing. When moving your car, park as far from the corner of the street as possible; vehicles parked too close to the corner get in the way of snow plows trying to turn corners.
Snow Emergency information and a map of Snow Emergency routes can be found at http://www.philadelphiastreets.com/highways/snow/emergency-routes/. Cars left on Snow Emergency routes will be moved to other parking spots to assist in snow plowing operations. If your car is moved, call 215-686-SNOW to find it. Do NOT call 911.
Citizens are encouraged to travel with caution Wednesday. Please give yourself extra time to get to your destination, and workers are encouraged to make use of flex time if available.
A wintry mix of sleet and snow is expected overnight with a changeover to all snow during Wednesday morning’s rush hour. Bands of heavy snow of 1-3 inches per hour along with higher winds during this period will reduce visibility on roads. Snow is forecast to continue falling throughout the day, tapering off tomorrow evening.
According to the National Weather Service Mount Holly, Philadelphia has already exceeded annual snow totals. The city receives an average of 21.3 inches yearly. Over 22 inches of snowfall has accumulated so far. At this time last year, the city saw 15 inches total for the season.
This would be the third nor’easter to impact Philadelphia since March 2nd. If snow accumulation from this storm should reach 10 inches, it will be only the third time in recorded history that 10 inches or over has fallen after March 15th. Other post March 15th storms that that saw over 10 inches of snow include April 3-4, 1915 (19.4 inches) and March 19-21, 1958 (11.4 inches).
City government: Due to potentially hazardous travel conditions related to the incoming storm, all municipal city offices will be closed on Wednesday March 21, 2018. All non-essential personnel are encouraged to stay home.
The Office of Emergency Management will activate the city’s Emergency Operations Center at 5 am Wednesday. A full EOC activation brings together city agencies and partners in one room and allows for real-time resource and information sharing, problem solving, and a coordination of city services.
Salting/Plowing: The Philadelphia Streets Department – working in coordination with Parks and Recreation, L&I, Water, and CLIP – mobilized at 4 pm today. The Department has more than 35,000 tons of salt available. Crews will begin salting streets throughout the night and will begin plowing as the snow accumulates, and will treat and plow side streets and neighborhood streets as conditions permit. The Department will have over 400 pieces of equipment deployed at the peak of the operation.
Sanitation and recycling collections will be suspended for Wednesday March 21. Residents who normally have collections on Wednesday are asked to hold their trash and recycling until Thursday. Thursday and Friday collections will also be delayed one day, and residents should be prepared for further delays depending on the length and severity of the storm
Archdiocesan high schools & parochial elementary schools in the City of Philadelphia will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday, March 21, 2018.
School District of Philadelphia will be closed tomorrow, Wednesday, March 21, 2018.
All Courts and offices of the Philadelphia Courts will be closed. All critical services, including emergency protection from abuse, bail acceptance, and preliminary arraignments, are expected to remain operational.
SEPTA will operate Regional Rail on a Severe Storm Schedule on Wednesday, March 21. A Severe Storm Schedule is a Saturday timetable with some adjustments. Please visit http://septa.org/service/winter/ for additional Regional Rail schedule details. Deteriorating condition on streets could cause bus and trolley routes to be detoured or suspended. Commuters can check their route on SEPTA’s System Status page https://www.septa.org/realtime/status/system-status.shtml.
Airport: There have been more than 240 cancellations as of 1 pm today with more announced for this evening and tomorrow until early evening. Travelers and those picking up travelers should check their flight status before leaving for the Airport tomorrow. Contact your airline, get updates at 1-800-PHL-GATE, or check the Airport website, www.phl.org.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) will impose a series of vehicle restrictions on most interstates beginning at 8 pm tonight. This includes a ban of certain types of trucks, RV and trailers. Vehicle types covered by the restriction and affected roadways can be found on PennDot’s webpage http://www.penndot.gov/pages/all-news-details.aspx?newsid=465.
Licenses and Inspections asks residents and property owners to consider potential snow weight in evaluating the stability of scaffolding and incomplete structures. Also, loose materials, especially on higher floors of buildings under construction, should be secured. All property owners are urged to stow or secure outdoor objects, including furniture and trash cans. Exercise caution around window bays, porch roofs, and fences that are not in good condition.
If a tree falls during a storm and poses a safety threat, call 911. Otherwise, call 311. A crew of arborists from Philadelphia Parks & Recreation are on-call to respond to tree emergencies and they will come out to remove the hazard and any part of the tree that is an immediate risk to public safety. Other parts of the tree that don’t pose an immediate risk (such as tree trunks and stumps) will be removed at a later time so our crews can focus on other safety hazards around the city during extreme weather events. In the event that a tree has fallen on electrical wires, please call PECO’s emergency line: 1-800-841-4141.
Call Centers Open. The Philly 311 Contact Center will be open on Wednesday (8am- 5pm) to take calls for non-emergencies. The walk-in Center at City Hall will be closed. Requests for salting and plowing will not be taken during the storm. Once the storm has moved on, the City will announce when such requests will be taken.
The Philadelphia Water Department’s customer contact center 215-685-6300 will be open. Citizens are encouraged to shovel snow from the fronts of fire hydrants and storm drains on their block to allow snow melt to drain to the city sewer system.
Homeless Outreach: The Office of Homeless Services is continuing its Code Blue until further notice. Throughout the Code Blue, Philadelphia’s homeless outreach teams will patrol the streets in greater numbers, urging homeless people to come to local shelters. People do not need ID to enter Code Blue shelters or cafes from the street, and they can remain indoors throughout the duration of the Code Blue. If you are concerned about someone who is homeless, please call the Outreach Coordination Center at 215-232-1984 at any time. Outreach is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. First responders can also transport people to shelter for their own safety.
PPA Parking: In response to the City’s Snow Emergency, which is set to begin at 9 am on Wednesday, March 21, the Philadelphia Parking Authority (PPA) will be offering a flat twenty-four hour $5 parking rate at the following Center City garages from 7 pm Tuesday, March 20, until the snow emergency is lifted.
- AutoPark at Independence Mall (5th & Market Streets)
- AutoPark at Jefferson (10th & Ludlow Streets)
- AutoPark at the Gallery (10th & Filbert Streets)
- AutoPark at Old City (2nd & Sansom Streets)
- Parkade on 8th (801 Filbert Street)
- Philadelphia Family Court Garage (1503-11 Arch Street – Going south on 15th Street, enter the garage on the west side just after 15th & Cherry St.)
To receive the discounted $5 rate, customers must bring their ticket and pay at the PPA Management Office in each garage.
During this snow emergency, the PPA will enforce all snow emergency and safety violations. Starting at 9 am on Wednesday, March 21, meters, kiosks and time limit violations on residential blocks will not be enforced until the snow emergency is lifted.
Additionally, beginning at 9 am on Wednesday, March 21, vehicles illegally parked on snow emergency routes will be subject to ticketing and towing. If your vehicle is towed during the snow emergency, please call 215-686-SNOW for its location.
Opioids Community Meeting is postponed. Originally scheduled for tomorrow, it has been moved to March 28th. Meeting location will be the Resources for Human Development (RHD), 4700 Wissahickon Ave., Suite 126 Philadelphia, PA 19144 from 6:30-8:00 PM.
Philadelphia Prisons: All inmate visits are canceled Wednesday for all jails in Philadelphia County.
Pet Safety Awareness: Citizens should contact the ACCT Philly hotline (267-385-3800) if they observe a dog or other pet outside during extreme cold. It is against City ordinance to leave dogs outside in extreme cold without proper shelter, and owners can be fined up to $500.
- Tune to local news for weather updates.
- Sign up for free emergency alerts and weather updates from ReadyPhiladelphia at www.phila.gov/ready. Text ReadyPhila (one word) to 888-777 to get text alerts.
- For more winter weather tips, visit the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management online at www.phila.gov/ready.
- For official updates from the City, follow @PhilaOEM on Twitter or find them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
- Other City Twitter accounts to follow for information: @PhiladelphiaGov; @Philly311; @PhilaStreets; @PhillyPolice; and @PhillyFireDept.