Philly transit, schools, government to reopen after storm

People walk down the steps of the Philadelphia Musuem of Art on Wednesday, March 21, 2018. It was the fourth nor'easter in March.

>> READ MORE: Thursday morning updates as the region gets back to normal

Schools, commuter railroads, and government offices were planning to reopen Thursday following the fourth snowstorm to strike the Philadelphia region in three weeks. The National Weather Service predicted up to about a foot Wednesday in parts of the area by the end of the storm, a roll back from estimates of 12 to 18 inches. Thousands of flights were canceled to and from airports in the path of the nor’easter. Here’s the latest of what you need to know.

>> READ MORE: Here’s how much snow has fallen around the region

Mass Transit

SEPTA announced that it was preparing to resume normal weekday service for the Thursday morning commute, but that riders should expect possible delays, detours, and cancellations.

Updates will be available at www.septa.org.

At 10 p.m. Wednesday, service was be suspended along the Norristown High Speed Line between Bryn Mawr and Norristown Transportation Center due to heavy snow accumulation, the agency said.

The Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines were set to operate through the night into Thursday morning.

NJ Transit said it would resume regular weekday service on bus, rail and light rail on Thursday. Riders should anticipate possible delays and cancellations because of lingering storm impacts.

PATCO said Wednesday night that it would return to normal service at midnight.

Amtrak was operating on a modified schedule and will continue to do so Thursday.

Schools

Philadelphia public schools will open with a two-hour delay Thursday. NBC10 has a list of other school delays.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia said its high schools and parochial elementary schools in the city also will open on a two-hour delay Thursday.

Archdiocesan schools in the suburban counties will follow the decisions of their corresponding local public school districts and report their own opening times.

What Happened to Spring?

Expected snow totals from the National Weather Service have increased with each new forecast, before pulling back a bit with the map issued early Wednesday.

SOURCE: National Weather Service
Staff Graphic

> READ MORE: Snow records in trouble as wild March takes a wilder turn

Government

Philadelphia city government offices were set to reopen at their regular times on Thursday. Courts were scheduled to reopen on a two-hour delay and people on jury duty were asked to report at 10:15 a.m.

The city snow emergency declaration was scheduled to be lifted at 6 a.m. Anyone whose car was moved from a snow emergency route can call 215-686-SNOW to locate it.

Garbage collections were suspended in Philadelphia on Wednesday. No decision had been made as of late Wednesday night on Thursday’s collection due to the Streets Department sanitation fleet supporting overnight snow removal operations.

On Thursday, New Jersey government offices and courts will reopen and employees are to report at their regular times, state officials announced late Wednesday night.

Highways

PennDot announced Wednesday night that vehicle restrictions would be lifted at midnight on Interstates 76, 95, 476, and 676 in eastern Pennsylvania.

Restrictions on the Pennsylvania Turnpike were being lifted in stages Wednesday night. At 10 p.m., restrictions on certain trucks, RVs, and trailers were scheduled to end on the entire Northeastern Extension.

All remaining vehicle and speed restrictions were set to be lifted at midnight for the main east-west turnpike.

Traffic on Wednesday was mostly light on the region’s highways, as most people stayed off the roads. Gov. Wolf said that National Guard soldiers were on standby if needed and that plow trucks were working to clean up the snow.

Among the accidents reported was a police vehicle that spun out of control and hit a guardrail on Interstate 95 at Washington Avenue. Two officers were taken to Hahnemann University Hospital to be checked out.

 

>> READ MORE: Top 5 March snowstorms in Philadelphia history

Airport

Philadelphia International Airport says more than 700 flights to or from the airport have been canceled. Check with your airline for flight status.

Staff writer Patricia Madej contributed to this article.