Police: Roads ‘absolutely horrible,’ stay put

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Although the scenery is beautiful, state police warn that travel is hazardous, and they are urging people to stay off the roads, many of which, such as Wylie Road in Birmingham Township, are heavily snow-covered.

Updated at 12:30 p.m. with new information, increased snow totals

Emergency management officials have strong advice for those who might want to venture out in the blizzard: Resist the urge.

According to Chester County officials, at least a foot of snow fell overnight on Friday, Jan. 22, and a blizzard warning from the National Weather Service remains in effect until Sunday, Jan. 24, at 6 a.m.

State police from the Avondale barracks described the roads as “absolutely horrible,” pointing out that some tow trucks have already gotten stuck. Although PennDOT and municipal road crews are actively performing snow removal, many roadways remain unplowed. Police urged people to exercise good judgment and stay home.

Another foot and a half of snow is expected on Saturday, Jan. 23, bringing the total accumulation to about 30 inches in much of the region. Saturday's snow will be accompanied by wind gusts that could reach 50 mph, resulting in drifts that are even deeper.

Temperatures will stay around the high 20s on Saturday, dropping to the upper teens to lower 20s on Saturday night into Sunday. Hazardous driving conditions are expected Saturday through Sunday, officials warned.

So far, road closures and power outages are minimal, with the exception of Route 322 in Honey Brook Township, which is impassable. However, officials expect those conditions to worsen as the storm intensifies. Route 1 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike have vehicle and speed restrictions in place. All SEPTA train service (R-5) has been cancelled until Sunday morning.

Officials are repeating earlier admonitions that residents refrain from calling 9-1-1 with questions about plowing or power outages. Instead, they suggest staying put and waiting for Mother Nature to finish unleashing her wrath.

Early Saturday afternoon, PECO reported outages affecting 2,209 customers in Philadelphia County, and 36 in Bucks County; earlier outages in Chester and Montgomery counties were restored. Outages should be reported immediately at peco.com; on PECO Smart Mobile On-the-Go, the company’s mobile website; or by calling 800-841-4141. Customers should also report any natural gas issues by calling 800-841-4141.

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