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March 14, 2017

Surviving Stella: what you need to know

Weather Snow
Carroll - Snow on Independence Mall Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

In this file photo from Feb. 9, 2017, snow covers Independence Mall in Old City. There is a potential for snow accumulations on Tuesday or Wednesday.

With a dangerous nor'easter descending on the Philadelphia region, here's what you need to know to survive Winter Storm Stella:

Snow emergency in Philly

The City of Philadelphia has lifted its snow emergency and its ban on parking on some city streets. At 4 p.m. Tuesday, the Philadelphia Parking Authority enforcement of all parking violations resumes. Discounted parking rates at the PPA's Center City garages end at 4 p.m. as well. Those entering the garage after that time will pay normal rates.

THE LATEST: NWS forecasters: Nor'easter is 'life-threatening'; snow projections get deeper

Snow emergency information can be found at here; and a map of Snow Emergency routes can be found here. Cars left on snow emergency routes will be moved to other parking spots to assist in snow plowing operations. If your car is moved, call 215-686-SNOW to find it. Do NOT call 911.

Philly archdiocesan and public schools closed

In anticipation of the storm, all Philadelphia public and archdiocesan schools are closed Tuesday.

The archdiocese noted that its high schools and parochial elementary schools in the suburban counties typically follow the decision of their local public school district and submit an independent closure status.

After-school activities are also canceled.

More school closings and delays can be found at

No Tuesday trash collection in city

There will be no trash and recycling collection in the city on Tuesday, officials announced. Residents whose trash is typically picked up on Tuesday are asked to hold trash until the following week. The department said it will make a decision on Wednesday's trash and recycling collection at a later time, depending on the status of the storm and plowing operations. 

City and county government offices

All Philadelphia government offices opened at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

All courts and government offices are closed Tuesday in Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware and Chester counties.

In South Jersey, all Camden County offices are closed for non-essential employees.

Transportation updates

SEPTA, which is urging customers to avoid unnecessary travel, has released a list of detours, suspensions and delays already set for Tuesday. SEPTA's weather-related updates will be posted online

On Tuesday, Regional Rail service will operate on a Saturday schedule, in accordance with its Severe Storm Service Plan. The Wilmington/Newark Line will operate an enhanced Saturday schedule and there will be no Cynwyd Line service. The Norristown High Speed Line trains will run every 20 minutes.

Several city bus routes will be delayed, detoured or suspended starting at 4 a.m. Tuesday. Additional routes may be affected depending on how much snowfalls and other effects of the storm. 

SEPTA will cut back, and possibly suspend, bus service along routes that are historically impacted by winter storms. This includes the bus routes:  7, 9, 14, 18, 19, 20, 22, 23, 24, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 38, 44, 46, 47, 48, 50, 52, 53, 55, 57, 58, 65,70, 73, 77, 84, 88, 92, 94, 95, 97, 99, 103, 107, 108, 112, 114, 117, 119, 120, 124, 126, G, H, XH, J, K, and L.

Additional bus routes could be detoured or suspended if road conditions deteriorate, SEPTA officials said.

For travelers who must use SEPTA to get around, the subways will be the best modes of transit, with 24-hour train service operating on the Market-Frankford and Broad Street lines. There will be no Nite Owl bus service.

PATCO will modify its train service eastbound and westbound. Its complete snow schedule can be found here.

NJ Transit has not yet made a weather-related announcement.

Several major airlines have announced flight cancellations for arrivals and departures later this week at airports throughout the region, including Philadelphia International Airport. To get flight status, call your airline, get updates at 1-800-PHL-GATE or check the airport website,

PPA and parking

The Philadelphia Parking Authority will not enforce meter and time limit violations after 10 p.m. Monday due to the snow emergency. The PPA will enforce all snow emergency and safety violations. Vehicles illegally parked on snow emergency routes will be subject to ticketing and towing.

  • AutoPark at Independence Mall (5th & Market Streets)
  • AutoPark at Jefferson (10th & Ludlow Streets)
  • Autopark at the Gallery Mall (10th & Filbert Streets)
  • Autopark at 8th & Filbert Streets Garage (801 Filbert Street)
  • AutoPark at Old City (2nd & Sansom Streets)
  • Philadelphia Family Court Garage (1503-11 Arch Street – Going south on 15th Street, enter the garage on the west side just after 15th & Cherry St.)
  • Gateway Garage (enter from Spring Street between 15th & 16th Streets)

The Parking Authority will offer discounted parking in Center City garages during the Snow Emergency to help lessen the amount of cars parked on the street. Beginning at 10 p.m. Monday and running through the end of the snow emergency period, PPA will offer a special 24-hour flat rate of $5 for the following parking facilities list at right.

To receive the discounted $5 rate, customers must bring their ticket and pay at the PPA Management Office in each garage.

Miscellaneous information

The Philly 311 Call Center will remain open during normal business hours Tuesday (8 a.m.- 8 p.m.) to take calls for non-emergencies. Requests for salting and plowing will not be taken during the storm. Once the storm has moved on, the city will announce when such requests will be taken.

The Philadelphia Water Department’s customer contact center at 215-685-6300 will be open. Citizens are encouraged to shovel snow from the fronts of fire hydrants and storm drains on their block to allow snow melt to drain to the city sewer system.

Philadelphia’s Office of Homeless Services has declared a Code Blue to prevent weather-related deaths among people experiencing homelessness. During a Code Blue, the city’s homeless outreach teams increase staffing and foot patrols throughout the city and transports homeless people directly to shelter 24 hours a day. Also, during a Code Blue, Philadelphia police are authorized to transport homeless people to a shelter.

City officials urge concerned citizens who see a person living on the street to call Homeless Outreach at 215-232-1984 and report the sighting. During the call, citizens should provide the address, location, and description of the person in need. Homeless outreach teams are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

All Philadelphia prison inmate visits are canceled Tuesday for all jails in Philadelphia County.

For updates on Indego bike share during the snowstorm, please refer to the website or follow @rideindego on Twitter.

The Departments of Parks and Recreation reminds residents that if a tree falls during a storm and it's blocking a road, or it has fallen on a house, car or other property, call 911. A crew of arborists from the department are on-call to respond to tree emergencies and they will come out to remove the hazard and any part of the tree that is an immediate risk to public safety. Other parts of the tree that don't pose an immediate risk (such as tree trunks and stumps) will be removed at a later time so crews can focus on other safety hazards around the city during extreme weather events. In the event that a tree has fallen on electrical wires, please call PECO's emergency line: 1-800-841-4141.

In regards to pet safety, residents should contact the ACCT Philly hotline (267-385-3800) if they observe a dog or other pet outside during extreme cold. It is against city ordinance to leave dogs outside in extreme cold without proper shelter, and owners can be fined up to $500.

Stay informed. Sign up for emergency alerts and weather updates from ReadyPhiladelphia at

For official updates from the City of Philadelphia, follow @PhilaOEM on Twitter or find them on Facebook.

Other City Twitter accounts to follow for information: @PhiladelphiaGov; @Philly311; @PhilaStreets; @PhillyPolice; and @PhillyFireDept.

Weather forecast

Check out the 7-day forecast here.