The Philadelphia region is in the midst of snow emergency, which is causing slow driving conditions, hundreds of canceled flights and all sorts of transit delays including a total shutdown of SEPTA bus service for five hours.
Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter and city officials took on the storm head-on.
"We fight storms that's what we do," said Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter. "And I think we do a pretty good job at it."
Nutter, like other area leaders, had a tough storm to deal with. The nor'easter, which moved in late Wednesday night is expected to batter the area for a full 24 hours -- not moving out until late Thursday night -- dropping a foot of snow or more on some areas.
The storm hit mass transit hard knocking out bus service and train lines.
SEPTA suspended all city and suburban bus service at 10 a.m. "due to deteriorating weather conditions." Around 7 p.m.
"We have too many buses that are getting stuck and they are impeding on the city's efforts to clear the streets," said Jeff Knueppel.
Knueppel said service would be restored to a small amount of routes (6, 14, 17, 21, 23, 52, 56, 59, 66 & 79) that feed the Broad Street and Market-Frankford subway lines between 3 and 10 p.m. barring any unforeseen issues.
SEPTA also stopped CCT service at noon with the exception of dialysis and medical appointments.
All trolley, subway and rail service will continue with the exception of the Norristown High-Speed Line, which was suspended around 11 a.m.
SEPTA's Regional Rail trains operated with delays of up to 60 minutes with some sporadic suspensions throughout the morning. Regional Rail service will be stopped around 10 p.m., although SEPTA suspended the Airport Line due to signal problems around 7 p.m.
Knueppel called the Broad Street and Market-Frankford subway lines the "best bet" for getting around right now.
Over in the Garden State, New Jersey Transit warned passengers to allow extra time as trains operated with delays up to 15 minutes.
Acela Express trains between Washington and Boston, Northeast Regional trains between Boston and Norfolk, Va., and Keystone Service between New York and Harrisburg, Pa. are operating at reduced frequency or modified schedules Thursday.
At Philadelphia International Airport more than half of the day's flights were already canceled early Thursday. By 7 p.m., officials canceled more than 880 flights.
One runway did remain open during daylight hours despite the wintry mess and a second runway was opened in the late afternoon.
An airport spokeswoman encouraged travelers and those picking up or dropping off friends and family to check the airport's website before heading out on the roads.
On Thursday morning, speed limits were restricted to 45 mph on most area highways and 25 mph on area bridges.
Plenty of fender benders and spinning wheels were seen in all three states. New Jersey State Police reported that by mid-morning troopers had responded to 262 motorists aids and 124 accidents on patrolled highways.
A 65-mile stretch of the Pa. Turnpike westbound was closed for hours between Carlisle (Exit 226) and Breezewood (Exit 161) due to a multi-vehicle crash.
Along the Delaware Bay, the Cape May Lewes Ferry canceled departures through 12:45 p.m.
The travel woes came as state of emergencies were in effect in all three states.
Nutter declared a state of emergency in Philadelphia that took effect Wednesday night. Early this afternoon he said that state of emergency will continue through the day.
The Mayor said about 700 Streets Department personnel spread out across the city to battle the storm and clear roads.
Within six hours of the end of the storm, residents must clear a path of at least 36 inches on their sidewalk, including curb cuts. To report a sidewalk that has not been cleared, call the Streets Department Customer Affairs Unit at 215-686-5560.
Nutter also warned residents not to throw snow back onto the streets -- threatening them with possible $75 fines.
"It's dangerous and disrespectful to the workers who will be out there for a long period of time," Nutter said.
During the snow emergency, all cars must not be parked on the snow emergency routes. View the full list of routes here. Trash and recycling collection will be canceled for the rest of the week to resume on regular days next week despite the holiday.
- CLICK HERE for safety tips on how to handle the extreme cold.
Ahead of the storm, Gov. Chris Christie declared a state of emergency for the entire state of New Jersey. All state offices will be closed on Thursday for all non-essential employees.
In Delaware, Gov. Jack Markell declared a limited state of emergency while urging people to stay off the roads. The declaration was lifted for Kent County at noon but remained in effect in New Castle County.
Markell said that by having fewer motorists on the state's roads that DelDOT crews got ahead of the storm.
“If you have to go out on the roads today, please drive slowly and carefully,” said Markell. “Hundreds of DelDOT employees continue working to improve road conditions, but snowy and icy spots still exist and drivers should exercise caution.”
In Pennsylvania, the state's Emergency Operations Center was opened ahead of the storm in case concerns like power problems come up again. Gov. Tom Corbett said the emergency put into effect after last week's ice storm remained in effect.
“I urge those in the storm’s path to make sure they are prepared if they lose power,” said Corbett. “We have been working closely with the PUC and utility companies to ensure they are ready and have the resources that they need.”
The following towns also declared snow emergencies. Click on each town for more information.
Countywide State of Emergency declared