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City Declares Tomorrow A Snow Emergency

Here's the press release:

Managing Director to Declare Snow Emergency 9 A.M. Saturday, December 19, 2009
Streets Department Taking Action in Advance of the Storm

PHILADELPHIA – On Saturday, December 19, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. Managing Director Camille C. Barnett will declare a snow emergency. All vehicles parked on Snow Emergency Routes must be moved to an alternate parking location by 9:00 a.m. Any vehicle remaining on a Snow Emergency Route during the declared Snow Emergency will be ticketed and towed. If your car is towed, call 215-686-SNOW for its location. Do NOT call 911. A list of snow emergency routes can be found at and is attached to this press release.

"If you must travel, please be careful and patient," said Director Barnett.

Streets Department Commissioner Clarena I. W. Tolson advises residents of the Streets Department's plans in anticipation of snowfall this weekend. Current forecasts predict 7 to 14 inches of snow accumulation on Saturday. In preparation for the snow, Streets Department crews have spent Friday applying a brine solution to city Streets. Salt crews and equipment will be deployed throughout the City to respond as the precipitation arrives. Primary and secondary streets will be cleared first, followed by hilly residential streets and other residential streets. Crews will remain on duty through the weekend to monitor roadways and to respond to problem locations and emergencies.

Streets Commissioner Tolson said, "We are urging residents to travel only when necessary. The less traffic on city streets, the more effective our plow efforts will be. SEPTA will be operating and we encourage citizens to use public transportation. We expect heavier than normal traffic this weekend for holiday shopping and the Flyers, Sixers and Eagles games. Everyone is reminded to be careful and patient as they navigate snowy streets and sidewalks," said Streets Commissioner Tolson.

Streets Commissioner Tolson urges residents to follow these tips:

Make sure you park your car as far away from the corner as possible. Cars parked too close to the corner limit the turning radius of salting vehicles.
Apply any commercial de-icer on steps and sidewalks early to prevent residual moisture from freezing over and creating icy conditions.
Clear a sidewalk path at least 30" wide within 6 hours of the end of the storm as listed in the Philadelphia Code (10-720).
Clear snow from neighborhood sewer drains to allow melting snow to drain.
Be conscious of the environment – use de-icing salts only as much as needed. One pound of de-icer can cover 100 to 200 square feet.
De-icer should be applied as soon as a light accumulation has developed on the surface. This will break the bond between additional accumulations and the pavement surface, and will make it easier to shovel.
A final light application of a de-icer may be required after removal is completed to melt the residual snow.
Check in on elderly and disabled neighbors

In addition, the City has a declared a Code Blue to provide additional support to the homeless. If you see a homeless person in need of assistance, please call the Homeless Outreach Coordination Center at 215-232-1984.

To report a street in need of salting or plowing or for more information on any Streets Department program or service, call 3-1-1. You may also visit us online at