BET NO one woke up yesterday morning expecting to see half a foot of snow by late afternoon. But Mr. Cold Miser whipped up quite a snowstorm that blanketed the area.
The storm wreaked havoc on the turnpike, contributing to at least one traffic fatality. Meanwhile in South Philly, the Eagles and Lions squared off atop a blanket of white.
Philadelphia, according to several weather reports, received from 3 to 6 inches of snow. Some areas of South Jersey received as much as 11 inches of snow. Parts of Delaware and Chester counties received as much as 8 inches. They got about a foot in Newark, Del.
A motorist who got out of his car after a minor crash on the turnpike near Morgantown was struck and killed, and about 50 cars behind him were involved in a series of fender benders that closed westbound lanes as snow fell, according to turnpike spokesman Carl DeFebo.
The turnpike reported several other crashes that snarled stretches of the toll road yesterday afternoon. Traffic on Interstate 95 in and around Philadelphia was at a standstill most of yesterday due to accidents and slippery conditions.
The snow fell so heavily in Philadelphia that yard markers at Lincoln Financial Field - where the Eagles beat the Lions - were completely obscured. It was almost as bad in Pittsburgh, where the snow intensified after kickoff.
Eagles fan Dave Hamilton, of Ivyland, layered up for the game, wearing an Eagles shirt topped with an Eagles sweatshirt and Eagles winter coat.
"Twenty-seven years I've been a season-ticketholder, I've never seen snow at the game like this," he said. "It just kept coming down. But we are all having fun out there."
Paul Jones, 24, a youth hockey coach from Warminster, was on his way to a game in Lancaster when he got stuck - along with his fiance, another coach and three players - in a major backup on the turnpike.
The roadway was "snow-covered, slick," Jones said in an interview from the car, where had been at a standstill for more than an hour.
"People are in and out" of their vehicles, he said. "Kids are having a snowball fight on the side of the road, making snow angels, people are walking their dogs."