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Philly winter snowstorm 2018: The latest on the ‘bomb cyclone’ (update)

Prepare for messy roads, blustery winds, and closings

Philly is in the middle of the wrath of the bomb cyclone winter storm.
Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

Update: The city’s snow emergency will be lifted at 8 p.m. on Thursday, January 4, which means residents can park their cars along the now-plowed emergency routes. If your car was towed during the emergency, call 215-686-SNOW to find it. Meanwhile, all city offices, parks, and schools will be closed on Friday, January 5.

Like the rest of the East Coast, the “bomb cyclone” has officially landed in Philly, dropping a couple of inches of snow and then some starting late Wednesday night.

The City of Philadelphia issued an official snow emergency effective at 12:01 a.m., telling residents to move their cars off of snow emergency routes and be careful commuting to work on Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service says that most of the snow will drop in Philly—three to seven inches—before 1 p.m., but then expect all of that snow to blow around due to blustery winds ranging from 25 to 41 miles per hour.

By night, wind chill may drop as low as -8.

What does this all mean from a practical, go-about your day standpoint? A whole lot, and we have the full rundown here, from school closures to SEPTA and airport delays.

We’ll keep updating as the winter storm comes and goes throughout the day, so be sure to check back to see if anything changes.

Snow emergency means you may need to move your car

The city’s snow emergency is in effect, which means that residents have to move their car from the snow emergency routes throughout the city so that they can be plowed. “When moving your car, park as far from the corner of the street as possible,” the city says. “Vehicles parked too close to the corner get in the way of snow plows trying to turn corners.” Here is a map of the snow emergency routes.

Parking limits will not be enforced

The Philadelphia Parking Authority will not enforce metered and timed limits on streets today, but they will enforce parking violations on snow routes. So if you haven’t moved your car yet, do so now before you get a ticket or it gets towed.

If you must drive to Center City but can’t find any parking, head to one of these garages for a $5 discount. Bring your ticket to the PPA Management Office in each garage.

  • AutoPark at Independence Mall (5th & Market Streets)
  • AutoPark at Jefferson (10th & Ludlow Streets)
  • Autopark at the Gallery Mall (10th & Filbert Streets)
  • Autopark at 8th & Filbert Streets Garage (801 Filbert Street)
  • AutoPark at Old City (2nd & Sansom Streets)
  • Philadelphia Family Court Garage (1503-11 Arch Street – Going south on 15th Street, enter the garage on the west side just after 15th & Cherry St.)

Schools are closed

The majority of Philly’s schools public and parochial are closed on Thursday, as are most schools throughout the region.

On Friday, January 5, all Philadelphia School District schools will be closed, as well.

Trash pick-up is canceled

If your normal trash and recycling day is Thursday, it will be delayed until next Thursday. Everything should pick up again on Friday, but the city says to expect one-day delays since it’s already behind a day from last weekend’s snow (so Friday trash will be picked up on Saturday, etc.). And bring your trash and recycling to the curb; driveway collections are suspended for the rest of the week.

SEPTA Regional Rail is running on a Saturday schedule

After delays on Thursday, SEPTA announced it will be running on a Saturday schedule on its Regional Rail. All other routes are operating on a normal schedule, but check its Twitter feed to see if your commute will be affected, or head to their website for updates.

Philly airport issues winter travel advisory

By Thursday morning, flights waiting to depart from Philly and other airports have been grounded due to the weather, and more than 200 flights have been canceled.

The Philadelphia International Airport says to expect delays if you’re flying in or out of here over the next few days. Best bet is to check with your airline:

​Winter weather is forecast for Philadelphia and the Northeast U.S. on Thursday, January 4. Be sure to check flight status with your carrier before coming to the airport. Some airlines are waiving fees to change itineraries for travel to/from certain cities. Check with your airline for details if you’re scheduled to fly over the next few days.

Code Blue remains in effect

The city’s Code Blue status is ongoing throughout Thursday. That means if you see any homeless people in need of shelter, call the Outreach Coordination Center at 215-232-1984. Outreach teams will be patrolling the streets, as well, to encourage homeless people to come to shelters.

Keep your heat and pipes safe

Below freezing temps can mean one thing for Philly’s old homes and buildings: Frozen or burst pipes. Here’s what to do if you lose heat or hot water during the storm.