Metro: Snow reporting, records and such

Snow on Gaul
The remains of the second largest snow storm in recorded Philadelphia history on the 600-block of Gaul Street in the Fishtown neighborhood on Sunday, Dec.

Nothing newspapers love more than a big storm. I jumped into the fray with a few items for Metro on the second largest snowfall in recorded Philadelphia history in today’s paper.

The second worst snowstorm in Philadelphia’s recorded history welcomed John Hutchison to Fishtown over the weekend.

Read the rest of the main story here.

With intrepid photographer Rikard Larma, I trekked through the snowy streets of riverward neighborhood Fishtown and then up to some big box stores in Port Richmond.

A few extras below.

metro-122109I spoke to 12 people. Eight made it into my submissions to the paper. Below some quotes and information that didn’t.

  • Don Thompson, 27, who has lived in Fishtown for only a year, said the lack of plowing frustrates him, but ‘you have to expect it with the city budget constraints.
  • Ryan Kennedy, 34, a single dad who bought his home on the 2000-block of Sepviva Street in 2000, said when snow comes, it always melts before the city gets to plow it. When I caught him he was pulling his son Ryan Jr. in a sled to run to the laundromat. He was concerned about having to call out of work because the storm had his car so stuck.
  • Adam Cramer, 41, an on and off resident of Fishtown for 25 years and owner of neighborhood art gallery Cycle Structures, was playing with his son Max at Conrad Square. Cramer wasn’t intimdated by the snow at all. If anything, he said, it helped. “The storm made me shop locally for Christmas.”
  • I met Tresmin Wyche, 21, of Hunting Park outside a Port Richmond Toys R Us. His shopping had been delayed by the storm, but he was ready to shop for his little brother.

I spoke to the city’s Streets Department head Carlena Tolson, who has been with the department for 15 years and in her position for six. Here are some items that didn’t make it into the story:

  • “This is the second largest snow storm to ever the city of Philadelphia, so it requries a complex strategy. The storm lasted longer than 24 hours bringing almost an inch of snow an hour. That has required repeated treatment and re-treatment of the city’s major roadways. All of our resources are fighting this storm, but, even though it’s done, there is more work to do.”
  • We have to place all of our resources into a hierarchy. That starts with keeping clear the major roads so emergency vehicles can use them. Everyone needs to be patient because we don’t know how long it will be until we can clear all the roads, given the amount of snow the storm dropped on us. Despite an initial forecast of four inches, we wound up with 23. That’s complex and challenging. We’ve had resources working for 48 hours now [as of Sunday late afternoon]. The amazing thing is that only now, just 12 hours since the snow stopped falling.
  • Things are going extremely well. With a snow storm of this magnitde comapred to what was expected could have crippled the city, when, in fact, people are able to travel, able to walk, able to shop. They have to do so carefully, but given the circumstances, the way the east coast has been hit, this is nothing short of amazing.

Lots of people got out and shot video.

Including participants in the annual Running of the Santas in the Northern Liberties neighborhood.

Philadelphia Weekly online editor Joel Mathis:

And this crew from Warnock Street, a small street that runs north to south throughout much of the city.