Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Snow Emergency Declared in Philly as Winter Storm Stella Looms

Eric Chaney and Ada Carr
Published: March 13,2017

Officials in Philadelphia declared a snow emergency Monday ahead of Winter Storm Stella and the Streets Department has announced trash and recycling collection for Tuesday has been canceled.
The declaration went into effect at 9 p.m. and ticketing and towing was scheduled to begin at midnight, CBS Philly reports. The Snow Emergency calls for all parked cars to be moved off Snow Emergency routes for plowing.
Monday Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed a proclamation of disaster and announced that speeds will be restricted on interstates and some large commercial vehicular travel, PennLive.com reports.
(FORECAST: Blizzard Warnings Issued as Winter Storm Stella Gears Up)
He added that speed limits will be reduced to 45 mph on interstates and expressways east of Interstate 99, which runs vertically through the center of the state. Empty trailers, towed trailers, buses, RVs and motorcycles are banned from these roadways until Tuesday evenings.
Approximately 700 National Guard members are being deployed, along with more than 2,000 snow plows.
Monday the School District of Philadelphia announced via Twitter that all schools and administrative offices will be closed Tuesday.
The Philadelphia Zoo and the Museum of Art will be closed Tuesday due to the storm, 6abc.com reports.
Villanova, the top overall seeds in the men's NCAA Tournament, left Philadelphia Monday to get ahead of the storm. The team plays Thursday night in Buffalo.
The entire region is under a winter storm warning as Stella moves in from the Midwest, where it dropped a foot of snow in several places.
"I have to be prepared. I have kids, I have to be prepared,” Michelle Tull of North Philadelphia told ABC 6. “They're going to want snacks. They're going to want to eat.”
Tull was just one of hundreds of shoppers who were out to stock up now while the weather is good and the roads still drivable, a strategy endorsed by city and state leaders.
“This is the time between now and when the storm arrives for residents to ensure they have emergency supplies and stocking up on anything that they may need over a period of adverse weather,” Richard D. Flinn Jr., director of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, told Philly Voice. “We are preparing for significant snow and winds and the impacts that those conditions could have on travel and public safety during and after the storm.”
Philly officials are mobilizing the snow plow fleet in preparation for the storm, Philly Voice reports. Crews will brine limited roads in the city, including Roosevelt Boulevard.
The city's Streets Department has 50,000 tons of salt available and will begin salting roads when precipitation arrives.
But one local resident was having trouble finding any rock salt for her own driveway and sidewalk, ABC 6 reports. Diana Closky of South Philadelphia had to hit eight stores before being able to make a purchase.
"We found it, thank God,” Closky told the station. “I'm not going to complain too much because our winter wasn't too bad, but I'm really not looking forward to if we get snow.”
Long lines have been reported at PHL as passengers seek to make their getaways in advance of the storm, Philly.com says.
SEPTA, PATCO and NJTransit are preparing for the storm but have not announced any special measures or schedule changes, the AP reports.

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