Snow Slows Traffic, Stops Flights

Another winter storm struck the area overnight leaving messy roads and another string of crashes despite speed restrictions and the airport came to a near standstill.

The snow stopped most air traffic into and out of Philly as nationwide thousands of flights were grounded

Airport spokeswoman Victoria Lupica said airlines hoped to return to normal schedules around noon.

The first major crash of the morning happened shortly before 5 a.m. along northbound I-95 as a tractor-trailer jackknifed blocking traffic near Washington Avenue in South Philadelphia. The crash took more than 90 minutes to clear since the big rig also spilled fuel onto the roadway. As crews worked to clear the scene they diverted traffic onto Columbus Boulevard.

The speed limit along I-95 and many other major highways including the Pennsylvania Turnpike and U.S. Route 1 was lowered to 45 mph in an attempt to slow down drivers.

In Delaware along I-95 a crash blocked lanes near Christiana around 9 a.m.

A crash also slowed traffic near the Belmont Exit of the Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) around 6:30 a.m. Traffic was able to get by as it was about an hour alter when another crash blocked a lane westbound on I-76 near Girard Avenue.

Two cars also collided mid-morning along the ramp from the Vine Street Expressway (I-676) to I-76.

PennDOT crews worked through the night to salt and plow area roads as did DelDOT, NJDot and local municipalities.

"Our crews it it pretty hard as soon as the snow hit," said PennDOT spokesman Brad Rudolph.

Despite the efforts of crews, drivers were warned to be careful on bridges, overpasses, on-ramps, off-ramps and side streets. A car even spun out on the Germantown Pike off-ramp of the Blue Route (I-476).

"Play it safe when you can," said Rudolph.

The slippery conditions were evident in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. as a minivan driver damaged his axle after losing control of his vehicle along slippery City Avenue in the early morning hours.

Speeds along bridges over the Delaware River were decreased to 35 mph to ensure safety also.

Over in New Jersey, state police said they responded to at least 45 crashes by mid-morning.

And in Delaware, Gov. Jack Markell issued a decree that warns motorists to avoid driving.

"The most important message for the people of Delaware this morning is to avoid travel if at all possible," said Markell.

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