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Philly feels wrath of bomb cyclone as schools closed through Friday

Philly schools will remain closed Friday as the region copes with snow and freezing temperatures.

A woman shovels snow on a Philly street.

Sam Newhouse

Philadelphia is getting two snow days in a row after being walloped by the infamous "bomb cyclone" weather system.

With 4 to 7 inches falling across the area closing schools Thursday and temperatures forecast to dip to the single-digits Thursday night through Saturday, the School District announced on Thursday afternoon that public schools will be closed on Friday, as well. No other city agencies had announced plans for Friday as of press-time.

City officials on Thursday declared a "snow emergency," and many commuters avoided snow-covered roads and even SEPTA as blanketed the region and Streets Department Chief Highway Engineer Steven Lorenz said at a Thursday morning press conference that the city was fighting back with 85 pieces of salt-dispensing and plow trucks and 40,000 tons of salt.

"Right now we're switching from a salting operation to a salt-and-plow operation," Lorenz said. "We figure there's enough snow on the street to effectively push it off to the side. There was a nice residual layer of salt on the street from last weeks storm so we got out in front of it."

But Lorenz cautioned that even after the snowfall is over, winds are expected to continue blowing it around the city.

"Some of the wide open spaces you're going to see a lot of drift, in Center City some snow coming off the buildings," he said. "We're going to see a lot of drifting, some residual snow coming back, so we're just going to keep pushing it off until we get that done."

Residents with a Wednesday pickup delayed until Thursday due to the holiday will get pick-up services on Friday and Friday residents will get pick-up services on Saturday, but Thursday pick-up blocks must hold their trash until next week.

-No announcement about school closures on Friday had been made as of press time Thursday. Visit MetroPhilly.us for the latest updates on what's open, closed and operating on a modified schedule around the city.