Samantha Phillips, Philadelphia’s director of emergency management, said Thursday evening that the city was “leaning towards” a snow emergency operation plan that would go into effect Friday.
This simply means that Philadelphians will have to move their cars off snow emergency routes throughout town.
Earlier in the day Thursday, Gov. Tom Wolf declared a snow emergency for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, which is separate from the city’s contemplated snow emergency. The city’s snow emergency only pertains to parking along snow emergency routes.
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“We will likely activate the city’s emergency operation center tomorrow evening and then expand to a full activation on Saturday morning,” Phillips said during a press conference Thursday evening from City Hall.
“The snowfall overnight should be relatively manageable, and then the height of the storm will really kick in Saturday morning.”
“We are in a blizzard watch that begins Friday evening and extends through Sunday morning. We’re forecasted for the most probable snowfall accumulation of 12 to 18 inches…There are potentials for power outages and down trees. We have not made any official decisions, but we will make official decisions after we get the most current information from the National Weather Service,” said Phillips.
She said about 400 snow plows will be deployed among 600 personnel.
Mayor Jim Kenney, speaking to his first snowstorm as mayor, asked Philadelphians to be safe and look out for one another.
“Try and help your neighbors when this storm is over. Clear the steps. Check on our seniors. Let’s work together as neighbors and as citizens to make sure we’re safe and get out of this and back to normal as soon as possible,” he said.