Snow blankets the region, dumping a foot onto shore towns in N.J. and Del.

The National Weather Service reported that the nor’easter had slammed coastal communities, with more than 12 inches in Avalon and around Rehoboth Beach.

Michael Greene shoveling snow on Baltimore Avenue, West Philadelphia

Michael Greene shoveling snow on Baltimore Avenue, West Philadelphia. (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)

Snow blanketed the region, tucking in along the coastline in New Jersey and Delaware and blowing inland on strong winds. By midday Saturday, the National Weather Service was reporting that the nor’easter had slammed the Jersey Shore hardest, with more than a foot of snow reported in Avalon, Sea Isle City, and Atlantic City, among other communities. A foot or close to it was reported in Lewes and around Rehoboth Beach in Sussex County, Delaware.

NWS issued a tweet officially confirming a blizzard at the shore.

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The governors of New Jersey and Delaware had issued state-of-emergency orders Friday, restricting travel on highways. PennDOT lifted 45-mph speed restrictions about 4 p.m. Saturday, though vehicle restrictions remained in effect. Through much of Saturday, high winds were reducing visibility and making snow removal more difficult for road crews. Driving conditions were reported to be hazardous in many places, especially early in the day.

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In Philadelphia and its suburbs on both sides of the Delaware River, approximate accumulations ranged from 4 to 8 inches, with the heavier snow in counties like Gloucester farther to the south.

Philadelphia International Airport canceled outgoing flights until 1 p.m. Saturday. About 6 inches of snow were reported there.

Along the East Coast, airlines canceled more than 4,500 flights at some of the nation’s busiest airports, according to FlightAware.

Amtrak suspended or limited service on the Boston-to-Washington corridor.

SEPTA reported routes were still in service, but with varied delays depending on location.

On Saturday afternoon, Philadelphia announced in a news release that the city’s snow emergency would be lifted after 5 p.m., allowing vehicles to park on snow emergency routes again.

Owners of vehicles that were towed during the emergency should call 215-686-SNOW (215-686-7669) to find them.  Do not call 911, the release said.

“Motorists should allow extra time, exercise patience, and maintain safe driving distances,” cautioned Vanessa Garrett Harley, the city’s acting managing director. “Black ice on the roadway remains an issue for vehicular traffic, and the region is still under a wind advisory, with the possibility of downed trees and power lines.”

The city’s Streets Department would continue its cleanup throughout the day and monitor the situation overnight into Sunday, the release said, noting that the effort was being hampered by high winds blowing snow back into the streets

In West Philadelphia, B Wiscount, who has lived in this part of the city for 24 years, was outside shoveling early Saturday morning, hoping “to get ahead of the wind,” and to catch the snow while it was still light and fluffy.

Wiscount was planning to bring her son, Zachary, 10, to Clark Park, two blocks away from their home, for some sledding.

“Might as well enjoy it … It is the place to go,” Wiscount said.

B Wiscount shoveling the snow outside her house in West Philadelphia on Saturday morning. She’s lived in the neighborhood for 24 years. (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)

Around the corner on Baltimore Avenue, Michael Greene was making a few extra bucks by shoveling and salting sidewalks for local businesses. He struck a deal because he lives so close to the shops in West Philadelphia.

“Most of the people that own the businesses live somewhere far,” said Greene, “So by the time they get here, they don’t want to deal with the snow when they can get a person like me to have it already done.”

One of his clients was Davis Pharmacy, a small, independently owned store on Baltimore Avenue that Greene said serves a lot of elderly people.

“They need their medicine no matter what the weather is,” said Greene.

Michael Greene, outside Alif Brew & Mini Market on Baltimore Avenue, struck a deal with a number of local businesses along Baltimore Avenue in West Philadelphia. Greene lives nearby and helps them shovel and salt early in the morning, for cash. (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)

He had started out about 6 a.m. Saturday. This was his second round, and he had a third trip scheduled for noon.

Meanwhile, families were, indeed, flocking to Clark Park, a neighborhood hub for sledding, on one of the few occasions this winter that there has been enough snow to catch some speed on the hill.

The joy was effervescent.

Adriano Shaplin and son Vernon, about to fly down the hill in Clark Park. (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)

“The kids were just really excited for the snow to be here, and to actually have enough snow to sled and play in,” said Dianne Garcia, of West Philadelphia. Her two children, Demetrio and Eleanor, were sledding together and looking for their school friends to play with.

The Garcia family, of West Philadelphia, was happy to be outside and sledding in Clark Park. (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)

Adriano Shaplin of West Philly and his son Vernon, 6, forgot to buy a sled this year. So they got creative.

“This is our sled, which is a pillow and a trash bag,” said Shaplin. “It’s an ancestral solution passed down through our family for when you don’t have a sled.”

Vernon jumped on his father’s back, and down the hill they flew.

“I think you’ll notice that we get quite a bit of speed, and even our stability is pretty comparable to the other commercial sleds you’ll see here today,” Shaplin said.

Adriano Shaplin and his son Vernon, of West Philly, are prepping for their dash down the hill in Clark Park. They’re using a pillow in a trash bag as a sled, which they say is an ”ancestral tradition.” (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)

At 43rd Street and Baltimore Avenue, the usual Saturday farmers market was closed because of the weather.

But it was business as usual for Dwain Livengood, of Livengood Family Farms. He drove 1½ hours from Lancaster to deliver his customers’ pre-ordered goods. He was the only business on the street Saturday morning.

Livengood stood outside his truck full of eggs, chickens, and winter vegetables ready for pick-up.

“We just can’t stay away from Philly,” he said.

In the afternoon, Wei-hsi Chen, from West Philadelphia, was out buying last-minute groceries at Supremo grocery store on Walnut Street to prepare for a Chinese New Year celebration on Sunday.

For his family pot-luck, Chen planned to bake some cookies and buns, and was buying some fruit and general cooking supplies.

“We saw the storm coming, and we planned a bit ahead,” said Chen. “And here is just so that we can get some stuff that we didn’t think about getting beforehand.”

Wei-hsi Chen and Mei-Chun Chen were shopping for last minute groceries before their Chinese New Year celebration on Sunday. (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)

Carmen Bauer, 21, an international student from Austria, was shocked by the snow when she stepped out her door Saturday morning.

“I looked out my window and was like damn, I never saw it here,” she said.

Carmen Bauer was shopping at Supremo for some comforting snacks to keep her warm during the storm. (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)

Bauer, who studies film at Community College of Philadelphia, had never seen snow in the United States before. She usually travels back home for the winter holidays.

She was shopping for some comfort food — mac and cheese, cookies, fruit bowls — for the cold weather, “to keep me warm,” said Bauer.

Supremo employee Brandon Johnson, 32, from West Philly, was salting and shoveling outside.

Brandon Johnson, of West Philadelphia, was salting outside his workplace, Supremo grocery store on Walnut Street. (Emily Rizzo/WHYY)

Working at a grocery store during the pandemic, he said, makes him “feel like a superhero.”

“I feel like my job is really important, to make sure everybody in the community eats,” said Johnson. “I take my job really seriously, and I try to keep everybody safe.”


Associated Press and 6abc contributed reporting,

Saturdays just got more interesting.

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