Snow Emergency Ending at 8PM tonight. City of Philadelphia Municipal Offices, School District Schools Closed Friday, January 5
Because of extreme temperatures and the threat of hazardous travel conditions, all City of Philadelphia government offices will be closed tomorrow, Friday, January 5, 2018.
“The decision to close is a difficult one, but we believe that the frigid temperatures will result in icy roadways in the morning that will be resistant to our salting efforts,” said Managing Director Mike DiBerardinis. “We need to keep drivers off the roads. So we have decided to close all municipal offices. Non-essential City employees should stay home and stay warm.”
The Streets Department – working in coordination with Parks and Recreation, L&I, Water, and CLIP – will continue its snow response until road conditions sufficiently improve. Crews are working to reopen streets to get detoured busses back in service as soon as possible.
Crews started salting operations at 3am and began plowing at 9am. There are currently 375 pieces of equipment as part of the snow operations and 800 employees working. Nearly 8,000 tons of salt has been used as part of this storm response. Snow totals were around 3.5 inches in Center City, slightly more in other sections of the City.
“I would like to thank our Streets Department and all our other City agencies for their hard work over the past 24 hours,” said DiBerardinis. “I would also like to thank the crews of the Philadelphia Water Department, who have labored tirelessly to restore water service in many locations as the bitter cold caused numerous main breaks.”
Motorists and pedestrians are urged to use caution while traveling. Even as the precipitation ends, high winds and sub-freezing temperatures will persist. Temperatures are expected in the single digits to teens through Saturday night. Wind chills will make it feel below zero degrees at times, the lowest wind chill temperatures being Friday and Saturday morning. Wind gusts could also bring down power lines. The City’s Code Blue Emergency remains in effect (see below).
Black ice on the roadway remains an issue for vehicular traffic. Motorists should allow extra time, exercise patience and maintain safe driving distances. The blowing wind can reduce visibility for changing road conditions.
Snow Emergency Declaration Lifted. Managing Director DiBerardinis announced that the Snow Emergency for Philadelphia will be lifted effective at 8pm tonight, January 4th. This will allow residents to resume parking on those routes, which have already been plowed.
Parking: With the lifting of the snow emergency at 8pm, parking will be permitted on the Snow Emergency routes. If your car was towed from a snow emergency route, call 215-686-SNOW to find it. DO NOT CALL 911. Safety violations will continue to be enforced through the night. Normal parking enforcement will begin at 6:00 a.m. Friday, January 5. That includes meter and time limit requirements as well as safety violations.
Motorists who parked in PPA garages prior to the lifting of the Snow Emergency Declaration at 8:00 p.m. tonight will receive the $5.00 special rate so long as they exit the garage by 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. They will have to go to the management office in the garage to receive the special rate. Motorists entering after 8:00 p.m. today will be charged the normal rates.
Sanitation collections are to resume on Friday but residents should expect delays. Due to the New Year’s holiday collections were already one day behind this week; therefore, Wednesdays materials will be picked up on Friday; Friday’s materials picked up on Saturday. There will be no collections in driveways for the remainder of the week. Residents should place materials at curbside, in front of their homes, to be picked up. Residents who normally have collections on Thursdays are asked to hold their trash and recycling until next Thursday.
“We ask for patience as crews continue snow operations, and as sanitation collections resume,” said Mike Carroll, Deputy Managing Director for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems. “After the storm ends, crews will remain on duty to monitor road conditions and respond to service requests of impassable streets or icy conditions.”
Philadelphia School District: All School District of Philadelphia schools will be closed Friday, January 5, 2018. All after-school activities including all athletic programs and professional development sessions scheduled for Friday, Saturday and Sunday are canceled as well. All District early childhood centers will also be closed. All School District building engineers are to report for work at 7 a.m. School District headquarters will be open but on a 2-hour delay.
Homeless Outreach: The City’s Code Blue remains in effect until further notice, to prevent weather related deaths among people experiencing homelessness during dangerously cold temperatures. During a Code Blue, the city’s homeless outreach teams increase staffing and foot patrols throughout the city and transport homeless people directly to shelter 24 hours a day. Also, during a Code Blue, Philadelphia Police are authorized to transport homeless people to a shelter.
City officials urge concerned citizens who see a person living on the street to call Homeless Outreach at 215-232-1984 and report the sighting. During the call, citizens should provide the address, location, and description of the person in need. Homeless outreach teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Water Department: The Philadelphia Water Department’s customer contact center 215-685-6300 will be open 24/7. Citizens are encouraged to shovel snow from the fronts of fire hydrants and storm drains on their block to allow snow melt to drain to the city sewer system.
Parks and Rec: All Philadelphia Parks and Recreation facilities will be closed, including rec centers.
Philadelphia Prisons: All inmate visits are canceled Thursday for all jails in Philadelphia County.
SEPTA: Regional Rail Trains will run on a Saturday Schedule. SEPTA will post real-time travel updates at www.septa.org and @SEPTA on Twitter.
Airport: Travelers and those picking up travelers are encouraged to check their flight status before leaving for the Airport tomorrow. Call your airline, get updates at 1-800-PHL-GATE or check the Airport website, www.phl.org.