Residents of Philadelphia and other parts of Pennsylvania and the region were facing a long, cold cleanup today, after the storm that dumped more than a foot of snow was replaced by bone-chilling temperatures and icy winds.
The National Weather Service said 13.5 inches of snow was recorded at Philadelphia International Airport and 14 inches at the city office of emergency management, while almost 15 inches fell in Delaware County and as much as a foot in other surrounding counties. Allentown in Lehigh County got 7 inches of snow and other parts of the state saw 5 to 10 inches.
Public and parochial schools in Philadelphia and many of its suburbs were closed Wednesday, and many schools in central Pennsylvania announced plans to open several hours late. Mayor Michael Nutter said city offices would be closed Wednesday and urged nonessential personnel “to stay home and off the roads.” Nonessential employees under the governor’s jurisdiction who work in the Philadelphia area were given the day off.
Forecasters issued wind chill advisories and warnings for single-digit temperatures and 15 to 20 mph winds gusting to 30 mph.
At Philadelphia International Airport, 155 passengers who missed connecting flights because of the storm were given pillows, blankets and sleeping mats as well as food and water, and several merchants remained open overnight for their needs, airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said. All are being accommodated or rescheduled by their airlines Wednesday morning.
Airport crews were working to clear walkways, access roads and parking lots as well as runways. Lupica said the two primary runways were open and planes were arriving and departing as usual, but airlines were still reporting about 100 canceled flights Wednesday morning.