PHILADELPHIA – With a storm approaching, the Streets Department and other City departments are preparing for brining, snow removal, and related operations.
The current forecast is very dynamic. Per the National Weather Service (See PhillyBite Magazine), the forecast has been slightly downgraded from 4-8 inches to 3-6 inches, although higher areas of elevation can still expect over 6 inches of snow. Snow is expected to begin Wednesday between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and pick up at around 4 p.m. The heaviest snow is expected between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday, before transitioning to rain/sleet temporarily and eventually returning to snow. Snow will intensify in the evening and is expected to end Thursday morning.
As a result, snow is expected to impact both the Wednesday evening and Thursday morning commutes. In addition, temperatures are expected to be in the 30s Thursday through Saturday. Temperatures near freezing could impact how quickly snow will melt and snow operations’ ability to quickly clear snow and ice.
“Crews will continue snow operations until all conditions are safe for travel,” said Managing Director Tumar Alexander. “However, this storm is expected to bring heavy snow and high winds. Residents should be mindful of fallen tree limbs and possible power and signal outages. Our goal is to make roads passable and return the city back to normal operations as quickly as possible.”
The Plan: Streets Department crews have been prepping equipment since Monday. One hundred pieces of equipment are expected to be mobilized during the snow event. Crews initiated bringing operations Tuesday morning and continued through 6 p.m.
The Streets Department’s current plan is to utilize a Highways/Conditional deployment which includes treating primary and secondary streets throughout the city. Crews will also treat bridges and residential streets in areas of high elevation/hilly areas like in the Manayunk section of the city.
The Department anticipates initiating a salting operation Wednesday as the storm dictates on all primary and secondary streets, bridges, and areas of high elevation. Full deployment of additional crews and equipment is contingent if additional snow accumulations occur. The Streets Department has 50,000 tons of salt available.