While many people in the Philadelphia region were given (or took) the day off, others had a tough day ahead of them becasue of this latest snowstorm.
UPDATED 2/13/14 at 5 p.m.
SchoolsArchdiocesan high schools and Catholic elementary schools in the City of Philadelphia will be closed tomorrow, Friday, February 14, 2014.
SEPTAThe Market-Frankford Line and Broad Street Line will continue to operate on or close to schedule and will continue service overnight, in place of Nite Owl buses.
SEPTA crews will work through the night and early morning hours to monitor conditions and perform tasks necessary to operate as much service as possible on Friday morning. Details about Friday morning’s service on bus routes, Regional Rail lines and other SEPTA modes of travel will be available by approximately 5 a.m. Friday. Updates will be posted online at www.septa.org and sent out via Twitter.
SEPTA had to suspend service on all bus routes because so many were getting stuck. One even hit a wall along southbound I-95. Late this afternoon, some routes resumed, but on a limited basis.
Juan Fonatas of South Philly was one of many trying to figure out how to get to work without taking a bus. He guessed his usual 20-minute commute would now take an hour and a half walking. “I never see [snow], because I’m from Mexico,” he said. “I never see it like this.”
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said as of this storm, there’s a new snow record. In the 130 years of recorded Philly weather history, he says the city has never had four separate storms delivering at least six inches of snow each in one winter. The latest totals put this winter in the top five of all time for total accumulation, he said.
Nutter said he’s not taking into account how much the snow cleanup will cost. It’s clear the streets now, figure out the money later. But costs are mounting around the region.
Bob Neff is the mayor of Little Silver, a Monmouth County town with a population of just 6,000. He said he’s way over budget for salt and other supplies to keep the roads in shape. The added expense will fall on the taxpayers.
“It’s a real tough call,” Neff said. “You try to buy as much as you’re going to need. And to predict how much you’re going to need is awful tough, but certainly if you have to make additional purchases that comes out of taxpayers’ pockets, and nobody wants to pick the taxpayers’ pockets if you don’t need to do it. On the other hand, you need to keep those streets safe. So that’s the fine line you walk every winter.”
There are similar concerns in Ocean County’s largest community — Toms River — where $750,000 was budgeted for snow removal. The town already has spent $1.2 million.
Philadelphia police are reminding residents that they cannot save their parking spots with a chair, trash can or anything else, even if they did spend hours digging out. Police have come up a Twitter hashtag to discourage the act: #nosavesies.
But there’s no shortage of “savesies” on the city’s streets. South Philly’s Joe Stibbins said he knows he shouldn’t save his spot with a cone, but he’s doing it anyway.
“It’s not fair, it’s just necessity,” Stibbins said. “It’s a necessity in order to park my car somewhere tonight. Because tonight, there might not be no spots. And then I just have to drive around for about a mile. I used to park on Snyder Avenue, which is a snow emergency route, and there’s gonna be no parking down there ’cause they don’t allow you. They’ll tow your car.”