Mayor Michael Nutter declared a snow emergency for the city of Philadelphia beginning at 4 p.m. Tuesday.
"We ask our citizens and businesses to use extreme caution in your decision making in being out over the course of the next 24 hours," Nutter said at an afternoon press conference.
Along with Philadelphia, New Jersey and Delaware have also declared statewide emergencies due to the weather.
He announced that all Philadelphia schools, both public and parochial, will be closed Wednesday.
City offices will also be closed Wednesday and all non-essential staff is asked to stay home and off the roads. City workers who are unsure if they are deemed essential should contact their immediate supervisor.
The city activated the Emergency Operation Center at 3 p.m. The 311 system will begin 24-hour operations to take all non-emergency calls, he said.
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Aside from exercising care, he said all cars must be removed from the approximately 100 miles of snow emergency routes in Philadelphia. A map of the emergency roadways can be found on the Streets Department's website.
"If your car is not moved, it will be relocated," Nutter said. Any cars moved by the city, can be located by calling 215-686-SNOW.
Nutter advises drivers who relocate their cars to park as far away from street corners as possible.
"Vehicles parked too close to a corner impede the turning radius of our salting and plowing equipment," he said.
The Philadelphia Parking Authority is offering a discount rate beginning at 5 p.m. Tuesday and running through the end of the snow emergency.
Drivers can park in the lots and garages located at John F. Kennedy Boulevard and 16th Street, 5th and Market streets, 10th and Ludlow streets, 10th and Filbert streets, 8th and Filbert streets, and 2nd and Sansom streets for a rate of $5 per 24 hours, Nutter said. To receive the discounted rats, customers must bring their ticket to the PPA Management office in each garage.
A list of all PPA parking locations is available on its website.
Trash collection, which has already been delayed due to Martin Luther King Day, will be postponed again. Nutter asks those who live in areas scheduled for a regular pickup on Tuesdays to hold their trash for one week.
All trucks normally used for trash collection have been added to the fleet of vehicles salting and plowing area streets. About 375 pieces of equipment and about 500 personnel are working to alleviate the treacherous road conditions.
Anyone who sees a homeless person in need during the storm is asked to contact Project HOME at 215-232-1984.