Spring City man dies clearing snow; latest storm dumps 9 inches

North Coventry Township crews clear the sidewalks along the South Hanover Street bridge as a pedestrian makes her way past them by walking in the roadway Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/21st Century Media)

POTTSTOWN — A winter storm that dumped up to 9 inches of snow and brought bitterly-cold temperatures to the region also claimed at least one life in the tri-county area.

Spring City police responded to the parking lot of The Flag House elderly housing complex after a man collapsed while clearing snow Wednesday.

Monte Weneck, a resident at the complex, apparently suffered a heart attack while clearing snow from a parking spot around 9 a.m., police said.

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Emergency responders performed CPR and other emergency procedures to try and save Weneck, but he was pronounced dead at the Phoenixville Hospital, police said.

Residents were out early on Wednesday using brooms, shovels and snow blowers in an attempt to start clearing pathways around their homes and businesses.

According to the National Weather Service in Mount Holly, N.J., Spring City accumulated more than 9 inches of snow. Residents in East Vincent and Royersford saw more than 7 inches of snow fall, the service said.

The large amounts of snow meant residents had to clean off their cars, as well as shovel their sidewalks and driveways.

Temperatures will keep the snow and ice from melting fully until the middle of next week, the National Weather Service said.

According to the extended outlook on the weather service’s website, the region has a hazardous outlook until Saturday afternoon. There is even a chance for snow to fall on Thursday.

The high temperatures for the rest of the week hover around 20 degrees, except on Saturday, when the high is estimated to reach 34 degrees, the service said.

Charles Metzger, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, said the cold weather can diminish the effectiveness of the salt crews put on the roads, so the department started to combat that problem early on.

“Because the salt is not as effective when temperatures fall below 15 degrees, we included calcium chloride in the mix,” he said. “There is a chemical reaction between the salt and the calcium chloride which makes the salt useful again.”

Metzger said crews were out as soon as snow started falling on Tuesday and the streets were treated with a salt brine Monday night.

“We used a tanker that holds 8,000 gallons of brine, which can cover three lanes at a time,” he said. The massive tanker was used on Route 422, the Blue Route and the Schuylkill Expressway.

Even though the large amount of snow made it hard for residents to move, Metzger said no extraordinary measures were needed during this storm.

“We have a giant snowblower with a brush the size of a car which can throw a ton of snow in a matter of minutes, but it wasn’t needed because drifting snow was not an issue with this storm,” Metzger said.

The wet, dense snow made for an exciting day off for area students as schools were closed Tuesday and Wednesday.

But for adults driving in the storm Tuesday and again on Wednesday, the snow is not always fun.

Between 8 a.m. Tuesday and 6 a.m. Wednesday, there were 324 reported car crashes in Montgomery County, according to Tim Elbertson, the community outreach coordinator for the Department of Public Safety.

Elbertson said the crashes were spread throughout the county with a majority happening between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Tuesday.

Along with the crashes, Elbertson reported 150 reports of disabled vehicles in Montgomery County but was not sure how many of those turned into crash reports.

Dan Clark contributed to this article.

This article was edited by Matthew D’Ippolito.