Officials: Dig in and shovel, avoid driving

Updated at 6:30 p.m. with snow emergency extensions

The big dig-out has begun.

Children along Marshall Street in Kennett Square enjoy the snow on Saturday. Photo by Kristina Smith

Children along Marshall Street in Kennett Square enjoy the snow on Saturday – before the shoveling begins. Photo by Kristina Smith

Emergency officials in Chester County put the area’s total snow accumulation at 25 inches – and higher with snowdrifts.

The National Weather Service lifted the region’s blizzard warning at 12:24 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 24. Many roads in the region continue to be snow-covered, and police are urging people not to venture out if they can avoid it.

Officials in both the boroughs of Kennett Square and West Chester said the state of emergency, which involves parking restrictions, will remain in effect until 8 a.m. on Monday, Jan. 25, as crews continue to remove massive amounts of snow.

“Travel is not recommended unless absolutely necessary,” said a trooper from the Avondale barracks. He said because a number of people have unsuccessfully attempted to navigate area roadways, 9-1-1 call volume is high. As a result, those who get stranded are apt to face a longer-than-usual response time.

Sunday’s forecast from the National Weather Service calls for sunny and dry weather with high temperatures in the low to middle 30s, which will spur melting. This water will re-freeze Sunday night when temperatures fall into the teens.

Untreated roadways and walkways, particularly bridges and overpasses, will become slippery. Officials advise commuters to allow extra time to get to work on Monday, Jan. 25.

PennDOT reports that it has removed the vehicle restrictions from expressways in southeastern Pennsylvania that were imposed on Saturday, Jan. 23. It is continuing to treat roadways and will continue to do so until they are clear, a PennDOT press release said.

The department also asks motorists to allow plenty of space when driving near plow trucks. Drivers should never attempt to pass a truck while it is plowing or spreading winter materials, the release said.

Chester County officials are reporting poor but improving road conditions. However, two roads deemed impassable are closed: Route 896 in Upper Oxford Township and North Manor Road between Little Conestoga Road and Bollinger Road in West Nantmeal Township.

Motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles by visiting www.511PA.com, using the 511PA phone app, or by calling 5-1-1. The service provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 770 traffic cameras.

Power outages have continued to be minimal. On Sunday morning, PECO reported outages affecting 9 customers in Chester County, none in Delaware County and 761 in Philadelphia County.

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