Buried in snow
BOB FORD/TIMES NEWS Christy McGeehan and 7-year-old Harmony Berk try to get their sled going down 6th Street in Jim Thorpe Thursday morning.
Let the clean up begin!
The strongest winter storm to hit the region is gone, dropping between nine and 19 inches across the TIMES NEWS coverage area as it moved through Thursday.
Residents, municipalities and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation are now trying to dig out and figure out where they are going to go with all this snow.
Nesquehoning reportedly had about 11 inches of snow early this morning. Lansford had approximately a foot, and 11 inches was recorded in Weissport.
In Monroe and Lehigh counties, residents were "treated" to even more snow.
Saylorsburg received 17 inches by midnight Thursday night; while Tobyhanna had 15.3, according to the National Weather Service.
Lehigh Valley International Airport recorded 18.8 inches at 1 a.m. and Slatington had 13.6 inches by 11 p.m.
Ron Young, district press officer for PennDOT, said, "Everything went well considering the large amount of snow."
He said crews were out throughout the storm trying to keep roadways as passable as possible.
"Interstate highways are passable," he said this morning, "and the focus will shift to secondary/rural roads after the interstates are fully clear. The secondary/rural roads may not be fully clear of snow for some time, so motorists need to use extra caution on these roads."
Schools were closed Thursday and again today, making the Presidents Day holiday even longer for students.
Snow emergencies were declared in a number of municipalities in Carbon, Schuylkill and Monroe.
Winter parking ordinances are in effect and will be enforced as the clean up continues today and this weekend.
A number of area businesses even closed Thursday to ensure the safety of their employees and customers.
Carbon, Schuylkill and Monroe County courthouses shut down operations yesterday and required only essential personnel to respond.
With all the snow left on a number of municipal roads from the previous storms that moved through last week, parking is becoming a major issue.
Some municipalities, such as Palmerton and Summit Hill, do curb-to-curb plowing following storms. Residents are required to follow parking rules, which designates which side of the street gets plowed first.
According to Erika Kugler, a resident of Bowmanstown, the borough tries to do curb-to-curb plowing after each storm, but it appeared that the previous storm took its toll on operations and plows couldn't get all roads plowed to the curb, so parking has become tricky in the borough.
"With this storm, there isn't much room out front," she said.
In other municipalities, snow removal efforts happen in chunks in the days following the storm and some roads become a war zone when it comes to parking.
Brandon Anthony of Lehighton said that you just have to pile the snow higher than the cars on the roadways to make enough room to park.
For example, on some streets in Tamaqua, until borough crews can remove the remaining snow from the previous two storms, some residents who clean out their parking spots use chairs or cones to save their spots.
Light at the end
of the tunnel?
Residents are hoping spring will get here soon so some of the mounds of snow will melt.
There is a slight warm-up forecast for late next week, with temperatures in the 40s as arctic air retreats north and a western flow moves in bringing warmer air across the nation.
But before we can break out the flip flops and shorts because 40s is a heat wave compared to temperatures we've been seeing lately two more chances of snow are forecast.
According to the National Weather Service, snow is likely after 1 a.m. Saturday. A total of one to three inches of snow is possible by the time the system moves out Saturday afternoon.
On Monday night, there is a 50 percent chance of snow and a chance of rain and snow Tuesday.