Local/State

Philadelphia area highways, bridges shut down

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Major interstates around Philadelphia were ordered closed as megastorm Sandy passed over the state, while many other local roads and bridges were being closed due to flooding or debris.

The highways impacted are Interstates 95, 76, 476, 676 and Route 1.

They will reopen at 4:00 a.m. Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the storm has also forced the Delaware River Port Authority Bridge to close the Commodore Barry, Walt Whitman, Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross bridges.

The Delaware River Port Authority says it will lift the ban on traffic at 4 a.m. Tuesday.

The Tacony Palmyra and Bristol Bridges are open to small vehicles as of 1:30 a.m., but both bridges remain closed to larger vehicles until further notice.

Only emergency vehicles and vehicles driven by essential personnel (medical workers, hospital personnel, government employees with appropriate identification, public safety officials, etc.) will be permitted to cross DRPA bridges.

That word came hours after the city announced that schools, public transportation and trash pickup will still be shut down Tuesday as Sandy makes its way toward Philadelphia.

All flights were canceled out of Philadelphia International Airport and Amtrak has stopped service.

The School District of Philadelphia, as well as Archdiocesan Schools, will be closed again on Tuesday.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter also announced that there will be no trash pickup on Tuesday in Philadelphia. Residents will have to hold onto their trash until next Tuesday.

There will also be no SEPTA service on Tuesday morning. SEPTA officials will monitor the situation through the day and make decisions as the storm progresses.

Philadelphia fire crews were called to the scene of an extra alarm house fire in the city's East Oak Lane section.

The fire broke out around 10:10 p.m. in a three-story twin home along the 500 block of Independence Avenue. Shortly after 10:40 p.m., the fire was elevated to a second alarm. The fire was placed under control at 1:00 a.m.

No injuries were reported.

More than 250 people evacuated to shelters in the Philadelphia area by daybreak Monday - hours before Sandy made landfall.

Sheila Gladden evacuated from her home in Philadelphia's flood-prone Eastwick neighborhood and headed to a hotel, preferring not to take any chances.

"I'm not going through this again," said Gladden, who had five-and-a-half feet of water in her home after Hurricane Floyd in 1999.

"They're telling me this is going to be worse than Floyd because this is some superstorm," she said. "I'm not going back until the water's receded."

Mayor Michael Nutter told Action News early Monday that shelters are open and ready to help those who have to get out.

"If you have not relocated, if you are in one of those areas, the time to go is now, because things are only going to deteriorate as time goes on," Nutter said.

"We're going to all have to hang in there together."

The city remains under a state of emergency until 5:00 p.m. Tuesday.

In Philadelphia, the American Red Cross has set up emergency shelters Saturday at three schools that are expected to be opened Sunday beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Philadelphia:
West Philadelphia High School
4901 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA

Roxborough High School
6498 Ridge Avenue
Philadelphia, PA

Samuel Fels High School
5500 Langdon Street
Philadelphia, PA
(All open at 4pm Sunday)

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philadelphia, hurricanes and tropical storms, severe weather, local/state
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