People began digging out their sidewalks and cars Monday as Philadelphia prepared for the second half of a nor’easter that has already dumped a decent amount of snow on the region.
There was between 3.5 and 4.5 inches of snow on the ground in the city by Monday afternoon, according to measurements from the National Weather Services.
Bucks County saw more snow, with nearly 9 inches in Doylestown and 8 in Warminster at around the same time.
The snowfall is expected to continue into Tuesday.
“This has been a very difficult forecast,” said Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel, who also directs the city’s Office of Emergency Management. “Things could really change quickly here.”
City officials encouraged residents to monitor the conditions and encouraged people to stay home if possible.
“We are deeply concerned about not only accumulating snow, but black ice that may exist along roadways,” said Carlton Williams, head of the Streets Department.
One city-run COVID-19 vaccination clinic remained open Monday for people with previously scheduled appointments. Those registered also had the option of rescheduling.
Philadelphia Managing Director Tumar Alexander said plowing crews were paying special attention to streets around coronavirus testing and vaccination sites.
When Metro went to press, officials had yet to make a decision on whether those city-run locations would open Tuesday. Readers should contact a site to make sure it’s open before travelling to get tested or vaccinated.
No trash or recycling will be picked up Tuesday, so residents who normally have garbage collected on Tuesdays should hold their trash until next week.
Anyone who lives on a block with driveway pickup should put out their trash and recycling by the curb in front of their house this week, officials said.
Parochial elementary schools in Philadelphia, which were closed Monday, will have a virtual day Tuesday, and Archdiocese of Philadelphia high schools in the city will have a virtual “flexible day of instruction.” Catholic schools in the suburbs usually follow the lead of their local public school districts.
Public school students in Philadelphia, who have yet to return for in-person learning, will be directed to log in for online classes Tuesday morning. They will have free time in the afternoon to enjoy the snow.
Scott Sauer, SEPTA’s assistant general manager for operations, encouraged riders to check septa.org or the authority’s social media channels for updates on service.
He said suburban bus routes are likely to be most affected by the storm. For people who need to travel, he recommended using the Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines if possible.
People who have scheduled flights out of Philadelphia International Airport and those planning to pick up passengers there are asked to check with their airline.
Additional homeless outreach teams are on the street attempting to get people who are unsheltered inside. Anyone who is concerned about an unsheltered person can call a city hotline at 215-232-1984.
“We don’t want anyone to be exposed to this weather,” said Liz Hersh, the director of the city’s Office of Homeless Services.