Snow, Sleet and Rain Leads to Nightmare Commute Across the Region

What to Know

  • The afternoon rush hour of a surprisingly strong fall snowstorm proved brutal for thousands of commuters
  • SEPTA suspended some of its regional rail lines while Amtrak suspended service between Philly and Trenton.
  • The snow and heavy traffic led to hundreds of crashes throughout the region.

Traffic and transit troubles continued into Friday morning. Click here for details.

The afternoon rush hour of a surprisingly strong fall snowstorm proved brutal for thousands of commuters who hit the roads early in an attempt to get home.

All across the Philadelphia region, the crush of traffic combined with lingering snow and sleet marked the frustrating end to a dangerous day of travel, which included hundreds — yes, hundreds — of crashes.

Travel by train and plane wasn't much better as delays mounted across all modes of transportation. 

SEPTA suspended its Chestnut Hill West, Media/Elwyn and Paoli/Thorndale regional rail lines due to weather-related conditions. Service on SEPTA's Airport, Trenton and Wilmington/Newark regional rail lines were restored after an earlier suspension.

All service on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor was also suspended between Trenton and Philadelphia due to signal power issues.

At City Avenue and Monument Road on the border of West Philadelphia and Bala Cynwyd, a car couldn't stop in time and slid under the rear bumper of a truck. When the truck took off a moment later, the car went with it.

Bus service in the great hills of Manayunk was suspended by SEPTA. Bus routes 9, 27 and 65 were ending at Wissahickon Transportation Center while routes 48, 35 and 92 were suspended until further notice.

Ninety-minute delays across the Regional Rail system kicked in about 5 p.m., just as a late bulk of train riders hit downtown stations in an attempt to escape Center City prior to the lines being suspended.

On the Broad Street Line, trains are operating with delays of up to 15 minutes.

SEPTA's Route 15 trolley is operating with delays due to disabled vehicles blocking the rails at 26th Street and 33rd Street.

In Montgomery County, more than 250 crashes and 350 disabled vehicles were reported, with numbers "rising every minute," the county's Department of Public Safety said at the height of the snow Thursday afternoon. Drivers were advised to stay off the roads.

In Chester County, officials reported more than 75 weather-related accidents. They too advised people to avoid driving.

On the Pennsylvania Turnpike, conditions forced speeds to be reduced to 45 mph between the Donegal and Valley Forge exits. Speed limit restrictions were extended to include all of I-276, I-95 to the Delaware River Bridge, and I-476 from the Mid-County Interchange to the Lehigh Valley Interchange.

In the Lehigh Valley, all lanes on I-78 eastbound at mile post 41.5 were closed due to the road conditions. Northbound lanes on Route 33 were also closed between the Bath/Wind Gap exit and the Saylorsburg exit.

Kyle Roper told NBC10 he was stuck in his vehicle on Route 33 for more than nine hours before he was finally able to get off at his exit.

"People are actually running out of gas and are forced to abandon their vehicles," he said.

On Thursday alone, AAA Mid-Atlantic rescued nearly 2,000 drivers stranded on Philadelphia area roads, towing about 40 percent of the cars. the rescues marked a 46-percent increase over last year around this time. As of 10 a.m. Friday, the auto club had already gotten another 600 calls for assistance.

Flooding was also reported Thursday evening on I-76 in the area of South Street.

The PATCO system was also experiencing delays around 12:55 p.m. as the agency held trains at their stations to allow its ice train around Ferry Avenue.

The Lehigh + Northampton Transportation Authority indefinitely cancelled all bus services around 2:30 p.m.

Delaware County’s 911 Center was experiencing a “high demand” for emergency services due to crashes throughout the county, spokeswoman Adrianne Marofsky said.

This is a developing story. Refresh this page for updates. For the latest on this storm, click here.

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