In response to recent Rapture-like events, the city has been blowing up Philly 311's phone line.

More than 15,000 calls were made to 311 on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, according to the Managing Director's office. That's about four times as many as usual, says 311 director Rosetta Lue.

Lue says people have been calling to ask about six main problems related to Hurricane Irene: downed trees, power outages, wires that were down, flooded basements, road closures and whether SEPTA is running. The typical responses to these questions are:

  • Call Parks & Recreation if it's a city-owned tree (such as a tree between a sidewalk and a curb), at 215-683-3600. If it's on private property, then it's the owner's problem.
  • Call PECO about power outages. Call 911 if you see wires that are down, because they could be live.
  • Flooded basements are the owner's problem.
  • A Philly 311 representative can tell you which roads are closed.
  • Dial SEPTA at 215-580-7800 to check if it's running, or check www.septa.org.

Lue says that even today, the number of calls to Philly 311 is still booming — there were 3,700 calls as of 1 p.m., compared to the normal 1,500 by that time on a typical Monday.

Though Mayor Michael Nutter said at a press conference today that the cost of the hurricane won't be known for several weeks, the fact that Philly 311 had to take in four times as many calls is a good indication of how steep the city's natural disaster bill could be.

Calls to Philly 311 also spiked on Tuesday, when an earthquake rocked Philly. Almost 6,600 calls came in that day — compared to a normal Tuesday, which brings in about 3,500 to 4,000.

Follow us on Twitter and review city services on our sister site, City Howl.