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Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management
Wednesday February 20th, 2019 :: 10:17 a.m. EST


City of Philadelphia Municipal Offices to Close at 1pm

PHILADELPHIA – Weather forecasts are predicting that messy conditions will significantly impact the evening commute. In order to make sure employees can get home safely, City offices will close at 1pm today, Wednesday February 20, 2019. With many other early dismissals expected, SEPTA will be adding additional service around 1pm to accommodate early dismissals.

SEPTA Regional Rail Trains will operate on Early Exit schedule on Wednesday, February 20, 2019. Nine Regional Rail trains will operate on the Early Exit schedule in which the PM schedule will be moved to MIDDAY service to accommodate commuters leaving early. Please visit the Early Exit Winter Storm Service Plan for service information. SEPTA riders should check TrainView regularly for updates or additional service information throughout the day.

For information on bus detours and other modes of SEPTA transit, please visit

In preparation for the storm, the Philadelphia Streets Department brined major thoroughfares on Tuesday. 370 pieces of equipment are available to treat the streets with over 35,000 tons of salt available. This event is planned to be a salting and plowing operation of primary and secondary roads, bridge decks and streets in areas of high air elevations. Salting of roads will not begin until the snow arrives. Crews will remain on-duty overnight to monitor roadways and respond to problem locations and emergencies.

The wintry mix is expected to impact Wednesday’s evening commute. Motorists are asked to allow extra time and maintain safe driving distances to allow for sudden stopping. The cold ground will make it easy for wintry mix to accumulate and cause slippery travel. Sleet and rain can cause other hazardous conditions such as down trees and wires impacting traffic conditions.

Trash and recycling collections are on a holiday schedule. Residents should set out materials at their normal location one day behind regular schedule for pick up. Sanitation crews will be working throughout the snow event; however, delays are expected as trucks navigate through the inclement weather.

The Streets Department urges residents to follow these simple tips for snow and ice management:
  • Have shovels and de-icing supplies ready
  • Salt steps and sidewalks early to prevent sticking
  • Prepare a pathway at least 3 feet wide within six hours of the end of the storm
  • Pile snow on the sidewalk along the curb line. Shoveling snow into the street hinders plowing efforts and it is illegal.

Due to the winter weather, a Code Blue is in effect through tomorrow morning to protect people experiencing homelessness. Call Homeless Outreach at (215) 232-1984 if you see someone who needs shelter.

Also during a Code Blue, City ordinance requires all dogs to be either indoors, or have access to shelter that meets certain requirements.

The Philadelphia Water Department’s customer contact center (215) 685-6300 will be open today for normal hours (8am – 5pm). Residents are encouraged to shovel snow from the fronts of fire hydrants and storm drains on their block to allow snow melt to drain to the city sewer system.

The Philly 311 Contact Center will be open today for normal hours (8am – 8pm) to take calls for non-emergencies. The walk-in Center at City Hall (Room 167) will be open until 1pm. Requests for salting and plowing will not be taken during the storm. Once the storm has moved on, the City will announce when such requests will be taken.

Philadelphia International Airport is open but expects travel impacts throughout the day. Flight cancellations are reported. The airport advises anyone planning to fly today to check directly with their airline for flight status updates.

Philadelphia Prisons reports that all inmate visits are canceled Wednesday for all jails in Philadelphia County.

Stay informed:
  • Tune to local news for weather updates.
  • Sign up for free emergency alerts and weather updates from ReadyPhiladelphia at Text ReadyPhila (one word) to 888-777 to get text alerts.
  • For more winter weather tips, visit the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management online at
  • For official updates from the City, follow @PhilaOEM on Twitter or find them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
  • Other City Twitter accounts to follow for information: @PhiladelphiaGov; @Philly311; @PhilaStreets; @PhillyPolice; and @PhillyFireDept.

Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management
240 Spring Garden St
Philadelphia, PA 19123

Emergency: 9-1-1

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