[PHI] NBC10 First Alert Severe Weather Central

PHI

Freezing Rain Causing Dangerous Conditions, Travel Delays

Freezing Rain Advisory extended until 5 p.m. for Philly suburbs

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    NEWSLETTERS

    NBC10 First Alert Meteorologist Tedd Florendo takes a look at the 7 day forecast, including warmer weather then a sharp drop in temperatures (Published Sunday, Jan 5, 2014)

    Freezing rain and cold temperatures have left sidewalks, roads and runways treacherous resulting in travel delays and trouble.

    Drivers were spinning out on highways, main roads and side streets as ice covered thoroughfares that were still left full of slush from melted snow from Thursday night's storm.

    Most of the area was under a Freezing Rain Advisory until 1 p.m. on Sunday as a line of  icy precipitation moved northeast through the region.

    However, the National Weather Service extended that advisory for the suburbs immediately outside Philadelphia until 5 p.m. The counties include parts of Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Berks, Lehigh and Northampton counties.

    "Untreated roads could be hazardous as the rain freezes on contact," NBC10 First Alert Meteorologist Tedd Florendo said.

    PennDot has 182 trucks out salting roads to keep motorists safe, but spokesman Gene Blaum says the travel conditions are "very difficult."

    "if you can postpone your trip this morning, or wait as long as possible until you go out, it would be best to do that," Blaum said. He added that some drivers are not heeding officials' warnings -- driving too fast and too close to the vehicles in front of them.

    The ice caused serious accidents on many major highways -- including I-76, I-95 and U.S. 1 -- on Sunday morning.

    The Schuylkill Expressway westbound was restricted to one lane between City Avenue and Belmont Avenue because of one crash, Blaum said.

    At Philadelphia International Airport, flights arriving and departing were experiencing delays of at least two hours, according to spokeswoman Victoria Lupica. She recommends those flying into or our of the airport contact their airline ahead of time or call 800-PHL-GATE.

    The Philadelphia Zoo was forced to keep its gates closed for the day due to the troublesome weather. Zoo officials had originally planned to delay opening, but changed that decision later in the morning.

    In Delaware, ice on the Roth Bridge on State Route 1 forced officials to close the span for about an hour. It has since reopened, but officials with DelDot are warning drivers to be especially careful when traveling over bridges and overpasses as they are known to freeze more quickly than regular roads.

    Even walking proved to be challenging. Mike Ford's walk home along Buselton Avenue in Philadelphia went very slow due to the slick sidewalks.

    "Real slippery. Really icy. People falling. We almost fell," he said.

    Megan Ryan and her father Mark demonstrated how slippery the roads had become around their Glen Mills, Pa. home. Wearing a helmet, Megan quicky slid down a ice-covered road on a sled -- her father captured the whole trip on video and shared it with NBC10.com.

    Marina Kraftsow opted to walk in the street instead of the sidewalk, but along with that came other safety concerns.

    "It's much better if you walk in the street...but I'm afraid of cars," she said.

    The icy conditions appears to have also resulted in an increase in injuries. Jefferson University Hospital and the Main Line Health System both report seeing a spike in Emergency Department visits for slip and fall injuries on Sunday.

    The NBC10 First Alert Weather Team is continuing to track this dangerous precipitation. Check back here for updates.