Mayor Kenney and City Officials Provide an
Update on Snow Emergency Operations and Response
Mayor Jim Kenney and City officials provided an update on the current impacts of the snowstorm and snow plowing operations. Approximately 15 inches of snow fell overnight, and more snow is expected. Mayor Kenney noted that this particular storm is challenging due to high winds with wind gusts of 55 t0 65 miles per hour, which are causing considerable snowdrifts, and thanked residents for their patience as plow operators continue to work through the day to clear streets. Despite these conditions, Philadelphia Police and Philadelphia Fire departments
No major incidents related to the storm and the city has not experienced any power outages due to the
Mayor Kenny emphasized that the Snow Emergency is still in effect. The Police Department and the Philadelphia Parking Authority continue to relocate vehicles from Snow Emergency Routes. They also remind vehicle owners
not to park vehicles on Snow Emergency Routes through the duration of the declared Snow Emergency, even if
crews plowed these routes already. If your vehicle is towed, call 215-686-SNOW. Do not call 911.
Officials caution that while the snow has tapered off this morning, the National Weather Service’s
is still in effect and forecasts indicate a second band of snow will hit the city later today through this evening. Officials caution Philadelphians to stay off the roads as crews continue to plow snow. Multiple agencies have been plowing streets across the city. Crews are at full level and will continue to plow streets throughout the week.
As of Saturday, 8:00 a.m. the Philadelphia Emergency Operations Center is at a full activation and continues to coordinate citywide response operations. Emergency Management Director Samantha Phillips indicated the
Emergency Operations Center’s priorities are focused on public safety and transportation activities.
SEPTA’s Market Frankford and Broad Street Lines will continue to run as scheduled. CCT Connect will only provide
service for pre-scheduled dialysis trips as long as conditions are safe to do so. All SEPTA bus, trolley service, and
regional rail service is currently suspended.
All airlines have cancelled flights at Philadelphia International Airport.
Streets Commissioner Donald Carlton reminds property owners that they are required to clear a three (3) foot path in front of their property within six (6) hours of the end of the storm. Property owners should also shovel snow from curb cuts. Residents should not shovel or toss snow onto city streets. It is against the law to do this. Drivers should park vehicles at least 20 feet from corners, as required by law. Snow plowing vehicles need extra room to turn safely at corners. Parking too close to a corner limits crews’ ability to salt and plow roads.
City officials ask residents to clear snow and ice from fire hydrants so that firefighters can hook up hoses quickly in the event of a fire. In addition, please clear snow and ice away from storm drains on your block to allow melting snow to flow directly down the drains. This will help to prevent icy road conditions. With the weather outlook of temperatures in the 40’s in the days following the storm, clearing snow and ice away from the drains is even more important as conditions will be higher for flooding when large amounts of snow melt quickly. Winter Weather Tips to Stay Healthy To stay warm, the Health Department advises wearing a windproof outer layer of clothing and several dry, loose fitting layers of clothing. Avoid cotton and tight clothing. Please also avoid drinking to excess. Drinking alcoholic beverages places one at greater risk for cold-related injuries, since alcohol can result in the loss of body heat. Know the danger signs of hypothermia: confusion, difficulty in speaking, shivering, slow breathing, difficulty in waking, stiff muscles, puffiness in the face, absent-mindedness, and trembling of one side of the body. If you see anyone in these conditions, call 911.
Frostbite is frozen body tissue, usually skin. It affects the extremities first: fingers, toes, ears, and the tip of the nose. Symptoms of frostbite include: skin might lose feeling; skin may look white, pale, hard or waxy; as the area thaws, skin may turn red, blue, or purple; skin can also swell or blister. The victim may also feel tingling, burning, or severe pain as the frostbitten tissue thaws. Children lose body heat faster than adults do, so they can get If you suspect frostbite, get the victim to a warm room or shelter, give the victim warm drinks, but no alcohol; remove any wet clothing; do not walk on frostbitten feet or toes. Doing so can cause more damage; warm the affected areas in warm (not hot) water, or with warm blankets; don’t rub frostbitten skin; don’t use a heating pad, heat lamp, or heat from a stove, fireplace or radiator to warm the frostbitten areas. Numb body parts cannot feel the heat, and can get burned; if skin color and feeling do not return to normal quickly, get medical help as soon aspossible.
Snow Shoveling Safety Tips
• Avoid overexertion. Cold weather puts an added strain on the heart. Take frequent rest breaks and drink
plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
• Warm up with some stretching exercises inside.
• Start slowly and pace yourself. Shovel five loads only a minute. After 15 minutes of shoveling, take a break.
Pause to stretch every five minutes by standing up straight.
• Push the snow. Do not lift. If you must lift, use your legs not your back.
• Drink during breaks to avoid dehydration. Breathing cold dry air robs moisture from your body with every
• Never throw snow over your shoulder. Twisting can strain the back. Face the snow that you are shoveling.
Keep your back straight, knees bent, and throw in front of you.
• Dress warmly in layers with a hat. Cover your neck.
• Take smaller scoops of snow, keeping them light and small.
• Do not work up a sweat. Bodies lose heat faster in damp clothes, which makes you more prone to injury.
Take a break if you are beginning to sweat.
• Do not smoke or eat a heavy meal before shoveling. It’s harder on the heart.
• Do not hold your breath; this makes your heart rate and blood pressure rise.
• Do not feel the job has to be done in one session.
• Do clear snow in front of fire hydrants and storm drains when clearing sidewalks and driveways.
Be a Good Neighbor
Remember to help your neighbors, especially older adults, people with disabilities, and those who are house bound. Please also check with them during the storm, if possible, to ensure they have heat or need any assistance. If you see a homeless person in need of assistance during the storm, please call Project Home Outreach Hotline at 215-232-1984. The City that requires dog owners to bring their pets indoors in the event of extreme cold. Ignoring this could result in fine of up to $500. If you see a dog or other pet outside, call ACCT Philly at 267-385-3800. Porch and Building Safety If possibly, try to clear snow from porches. Sagging porches and building roofs, and warping columns are signs of a building made dangerous by heavy snow. If you see these dangerous conditions, get to safety and call 911 immediately. Home Heating Safety Tips Use electric heaters with extreme caution to prevent shock, fire, and burns. NEVER use a kerosene heater indoors. Keep items at least three (3) feet from heat sources, to help prevent fire. Never use a gas oven or burner to heat your home. Portable Heaters The Philadelphia Fire Code permits the use of portable kerosene heaters in one and two family dwellings only. Portable propane heaters can be used outdoors only. When purchasing a new portable heater, select those with the mark of an independent testing laboratory. Use and maintain the heater by following manufacturer’s instructions.
Cold air blowing through drafty windows or in unheated areas can cause water pipes to burst or damage water meters. Try these Water Department tips to ensure that your home’s water system is ready to face the worst that winter can blow your way: • Shut off outside water faucets from your inside valves, leaving the outside valve open to drain the faucet. • Keep your water meter above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. • Wrap the water meter and the connecting piping with insulation. • Caulk windows near water meters or pipes and COVER those windows with plastic. • Replace or cover cracked or broken windows. • Wrap and insulate all water pipes in unheated areas, such as underneath a shed or kitchen floor. • Let water run overnight at a trickle in extremely cold weather to keep the pipes from freezing. • Have your vacant property winterized by a registered plumber. • If you have any questions, please call the Philadelphia Water Department at 215-685-6300.
The Philly 311 Call Center will remain open this weekend to take calls for non-emergencies and to provide the most
current storm-related information:
• Friday – extend until 10:00 p.m.
• Saturday – 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
• Sunday – 8:00 a.m. to midnight
• Monday – open at 6:00 a.m.
Dial 3-1-1 or for those with VOiP (Voice over Internet Protocol). For calls from outside of Philadelphia, dial 215-686-
8686. Download the Philly 311 free Mobile App from the app store via your smart device (phone, tablet, etc.) for
IOS and for Android. Ask @Philly311 a question or submit a request using Facebook and Twitter. You can send
your inquiry or request from your email to Philly311@phila.gov, also.
• Tune to local news for weather updates.
• Sign up for emergency alerts and weather updates from ReadyPhiladelphia at www.phila.gov/ready.
• For more winter weather tips, visit the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management online at
• For official updates from the City, follow @PhilaOEM on Twitter or find them on Facebook, Google+,
LinkedIn, YouTube, and Blogspot.
• Other City Twitter accounts to follow for information: @PhiladelphiaGov; @Philly311; @PhilaStreets;
@PhillyPolice; and @PhillyFireDept.