Philly area prepares for post-Sandy nor'easter

Utilities, road crews still finishing Sandy clean-up prepare for nor'easter in Philly area

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Crews still cleaning up from Superstorm Sandy were bracing Wednesday for a nor'easter that could bring the first snow of the season to the Philadelphia area.

The storm was expected to bring a combination of wind-blown snow, sleet and freezing rain to eastern Pennsylvania later Wednesday and into Thursday morning, with snow accumulations of 3 to 5 inches possible, the National Weather Service said. A winter weather advisory was in effect north and west of Philadelphia, with 1 to 4 inches possible.

The storm could test utilities and road crews still cleaning up from Sandy, which knocked out power to hundreds of thousands and forced road closures across last week. The latest weather could also possibly delay assessments of damage from Sandy, according to Ruth Miller, a spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency.

Peco on Wednesday was working to restore power to the final 100 or so suburban Philadelphia customers knocked out by Sandy, the worst storm in terms of outages in the company's history. Peco had 2,000 people out in the field ready to deal with the latest weather, including extra manpower brought in from out of state to deal with Sandy, spokeswoman Karen Muldoon Geus said.

"They will continue to stay here until we assess the impact from this weather event," Geus said.

The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation had 2,200 trucks ready statewide Wednesday and was prepared to salt roadways as needed, according to spokesman Steve Chizmar.

PennDOT still had a few roads closed due to downed wires from Sandy in eastern Pennsylvania, Chizmar said.

"We'll continue to monitor the situation," Chizmar said. "This is pretty much a routine storm."

At Philadelphia International Airport, about two dozen flights were canceled Wednesday, mostly due to the high winds that can impact the smaller planes used on regional flights, airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said.

She said officials there were expecting more cancellations.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said the city was carefully tracking the storm and that the Streets Department was prepared with plows and salt if needed. He said he did not expect it to cause major flooding problems, but encouraged citizens to be careful — especially considering the possibility of downed trees and power lines.

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