It's Officially the Snowiest Winter in History

Over 70-inches of snow fell this season and it's not over yet

The Blizzard of 2010 is pretty much over, but before the snow even stopped falling, it helped Philadelphia make history.

This is officially the snowiest winter season in the city's recorded history, according to the National Weather Service.

71.6-inches of snow fell in Philadelphia so far this season and it's not even over.

"This is almost beyond words," said Meteorologist Glenn "Hurricane" Schwartz. "No matter how old you are, you probably will never experience a winter like this in your lifetime, again."

The last record was only set 14 years ago during the Blizzard of 1996 when 65.5 inches fell -- 33 inches of which were dumped during that storm.

This latest storm has dumped over 14 inches in Philly and higher amounts are being tallied in the northern and western suburbs. Here are some of the highest measurements so far:

  • Wilmington, Del. -- 12.8 inches
  • Bear, Del. -- 12.8 inches
  • Ewing, N.J. -- 17.5
  • Cherry Hill, N.J. -- 13 inches
  • Boyerton, Pa. -- 23.3 inches
  • Perkasie, Pa. -- 21 inches
  • East Nantmeil, Pa. -- 26.8 inches
  • Allentown, Pa. -- 17.6 inches
  • Trappe, Pa. -- 21.8 inches
  • Elkins Park, Pa. -- 16.5 inches

We also had more stronger winter storms this season than ever. There are only two other seasons -- 1960-61 and 1978 -- that had more than one storm with 10 or more inches of accumulation since 1888, says Glenn. Neither of those seasons had storms that broke the 20 inch accumulation mark.

The heavy snow and strong winds caused officials to close highways and schools, shutter public transit and shut down cities.

Gov. Ed Rendell ordered the closure of the Schuylkill Expressway, Blue Route and Vine Street Expressway because driving conditions had become so hazardous. They are not expected to reopen until Thursday morning.

SEPTA, NJ Transit and BART in Del. all cancelled bus service at some point Wednesday and planes sat vacant at Philadelphia International Airport as flights were brought to a standstill. SEPTA plans to resume weekday service at 5 a.m. Thursday.

Power lines and building roofs tumbled under the weight of the fluff. In Townsend, Del., a firehouse needed to be closed after it’s roof collapsed.

People walking along Walnut Street in Center City dodged a fallen awning from the Jones New York store near 17th Street.

More than 150,000 homes are without power Wednesday night as falling trees took down lines. 120,000 of the outages are in the PECO service area. Officials say they have 450 workers on the streets working to get power restored, but admit it may take days to get eveyone back online.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced that the city would be closed Thursday as public safety and Streets department employees work to clean up the mess.

He urged that other employers allow residents to use Thursday as a "transition day" to shovel their sidewalks, dig out their cars and check on neighbors.

The mayor also asked residents to take their time while digging out. Philly EMS workers handled 14 cases of cardiac arrest Wednesday, a huge spike than the norm.

While many adults ponder if they'll make it into work, kids can rejoice since all city public and Catholic schools will be closed. Other districts are also following suit.

Even the animals were thrown off by the blizzard. A wayward Canadian goose wandered into the truck bay of our Bala Cynwyd, Pa. studios. Our staff gave her some shelter, a little food and a name -- Lucy -- before sending her on her way.

The blizzard conditions ended around 11 p.m. Wednesday as the storm moved further out to sea. But now we have to worry about freezing. The temperatures will tumble overnight turing slush to ice, making walking and driving even more dangerous.

Get the latest on closures and up-to-date radar over in the Winter Weather Center.

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