Snow snarls traffic, closes schools, cuts power to thousands

Scenes like this were numerous along local roadways. This motorist spun out in the opposite direction westbound Rt. 422 at Evergreen Rd. Photo by Kevin Hoffman
Once again area residents were digging out from another snowfall. Photo by Kevin Hoffman

It’s now fairly well-documented that those who live with endless snow — think Inuit, Laplanders — have many words for all the different types of snow, but perhaps what greater Pottstown area residents would like to know is if there is a word for the particular type of snow we’ve been getting this winter — “too much.”

Yet another snowstorm blanketed the region Monday, dumping at least 8 inches of a wet, heavy snow perfect for snowballs, snowmen and lower back injuries.

In fact, the snow was so heavy it caused trees to fall, power lines to fall, and trees to fall on power lines, creating spotty power-outages throughout the region. More than 1,000 Spring City residents were affected by power outages before PECO made the necessary fixes by the late afternoon.

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Schuylkill Township, however, experienced outages all day, with more than 400 reported in the early afternoon growing to 600 customers by 4:30 p.m.

PECO spokesperson Greg Smore said Montgomery County was the area where the “heavy, wet snow” affected most PECO customers, though most large outages seemed to occur on the eastern end.

He said 1,000 field personnel were called in Monday.

“The road conditions do make things trickier,” he said. “As the road conditions improve, we’ll be able to get to more of these problems.

Karen Baxter, external affairs manager for Met-Ed, said crews were going to stay on-call throughout the day and also urged customers to use caution if they see downed wires.

“Treat every line like it’s hot,” she said. “That’s what we train our linemen to do, so we’re asking people to do the same as our professionals.”

The storm brought the usual impacts. Without exception, local schools declared another snow day and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation lowered speed limits on major highways, lifting the restriction at 4 p.m. Delays of four hours or more were reported at Philadelphia International Airport.

Lower speed limits didn’t stop lots of people from getting into more accidents than could be easily counted, with Route 422 occupying its usual place of honor near the top of the list.

Snow emergencies were declared in Spring City and Upper Providence.

As if all this wasn’t enough, the National Weather Service has issued another winter storm watch for late Tuesday into Wednesday afternoon, with another 4 to 8 inches of snow possible, combined with ice, sleet and freezing rain. So don’t put those snow shovels away just yet.