Seek AC Stat: There’s a Code Orange Air Pollution Alert Today

code orange | f11photo

The National Weather Service has issued a Code Orange weather alert for the Philadelphia area today.

Basically, if you’re an old person, a child, or someone with asthma, heart or lung disease, you should probably stay inside and avoid strenuous activity.

Code Orange air quality alerts are issued when air pollution concentrations “become unhealthy for sensitive groups,” according to the NWS. It’s likely caused by today’s heat – the high is expected to reach somewhere between 90 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. That could make for a historic temperature – today’s record traces back to 94 degrees in 1962.

We’re happy it’s not cold and rainy anymore – but stay safe (and cool enough) out there!

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Wind Chill Will Be “Dangerous to People and Pets” This Weekend


From left: The wind chill forecast for Sunday morning, the low temperature forecast for Sunday morning, and storm potential for Monday afternoon (NWS Philadelphia/Mt. Holly)

The National Weather Service is projecting temperatures in the single digits at sunrise on Sunday.

Philadelphia, Burlington and Camden Counties are operating under a Code Blue as of Thursday to keep residents out of the painfully cold temperatures that have already invaded the region and look likely to stay throughout the weekend.

Issuance of a Code Blue aims to protect those at risk, like the homeless, by getting them inside when temperatures drop to unbearable lows. In Philadelphia, a Code Blue takes effect “when the temperature, wind chill and precipitation combined together result in ‘real feel’ temperatures near or below 20 degrees Fahrenheit,” according to Predictions have this weekend’s temperatures falling far below 20 degrees.

“The first priority will continue to be the use of outreach-designated resources for the homeless, including Somerset and Our Brother’s Place,” according to Philadelphia Code Blue protocol. “If necessary, police stations and/or other public buildings may also be made available for homeless persons during Code Blue conditions.”

To report an instance of a homeless person in need of assistance, you can call Project HOME at 215-232-1984. Read more »

Did Mayor Kenney Do a Good Job Handling the Blizzard?

L to R: Freeland Avenue in Manayunk as of Sunday, and Mayor Kenney on Inauguration Day. | Photos by Tim Haas and Jeff Fusco

L to R: Freeland Avenue in Northwest Philly as of Sunday, and Mayor Kenney on Inauguration Day. | Photos by Tim Haas and Jeff Fusco

As a candidate, Mayor Jim Kenney promised to ensure that “every neighborhood matters” in Philadelphia. His campaign motto was, in part, a not-so-subtle reference to his predecessor: Many politicos (and residents) believe former Mayor Michael Nutter focused more on Center City than other neighborhoods during his time in office.

One of the more straightforward ways for an administration to show that it values every neighborhood is to quickly plow small streets throughout the city — not just main thoroughfares downtown — after a blizzard. Kenney, acutely aware of this fact, said at a Saturday news conference in the midst of Winter Storm Jonas, “I spent most of my life in South Philadelphia. And up until the Street administration, it never got plowed.'” He vowed to “get to the small streets.”

Has the Kenney administration done that? Without conducting a massive survey of roads throughout the city, it’s impossible to know for certain how many small streets are currently free of snow. But it’s clear many residents think the city hasn’t done a great job. Philadelphians are kvetching on social media that small streets in Northwest Philly, South Philly and other areas have barely been plowed, if at all. They’re kvetching to the regular old media, too. “Some small side streets in South Philadelphia still looked Sunday as if they could have been scenes from Alaska or the Arctic,” wrote the Daily News. “Residents complained that the city had cleared bigger streets like Broad, Chestnut and Spring Garden — but that smaller streets had been untouched.” Even Kenney’s own boyhood street in South Philly still hadn’t been plowed as of Monday, the Inquirer reported. Read more »

Extreme Weather Means City Has to Get Homeless Off the Street, If They Can


With a potential blizzard looming, Philadelphia is currently in a Code Blue emergency. This means outreach teams will be working into the night to help transport homeless individuals from the street to shelters.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s recent executive order to remove homeless people from the streets in extreme weather, even against their will, has sparked debate about the extent of the Government’s authority over homeless people’s decisions.

In Philadelphia, a Code Blue response consists mostly of extending the operation hours of shelters, increasing capacity at overnight sites, and providing transportation to various emergency shelters.

Teams of outreach professionals, volunteers and PPD officers comb the streets looking for people who appear to be sleeping outdoors. They offer them transportation to a shelter, overnight Café or other emergency housing facilities. But, perhaps surprisingly, not everyone is willing to go to emergency housing. Read more »

Delivery Service goPuff Will Remain OpenThrough Storm

gopuff app 400In case you forget any snowstorm essentials or find that you’ve run out of beer (gasp!), on-demand delivery service goPuff can help you out. goPuff says that they will remain open and will be “delivering snowstorm essentials throughout the winter watch weekend in 30 minutes or less.”

The “snowstorm essentials” they will deliver includes, but are not limited to water, eggs, milk, bread, canned goods, ice cream and beer.

Other local food delivery services like Caviar and Main Line Delivery are determining their availability based on the safety of their delivery drivers, but goPuff’s strategy promises to stay open for the duration of the storm by doubling up their staff with over fifty independently contracted drivers on shift for the weekend.

Read more »

Kenney: Move Cars Off Snow Emergency Routes Or Get Towed

Mayor Jim Kenney - snow press conference - Philadelphia

If your car is parked on a snow emergency route, the city has one message for you: Move it.

The city is declaring a snow emergency at 9 p.m., which means emergency routes must be cleared of parked cars at that time. If your car isn’t moved by 9 tonight, the city will ticket it and tow it to another location. Snow emergency routes are listed on signs, as well as on the Streets Department’s website. There will be 400 plows and 600 workers salting and plowing the streets this weekend.

“Please do not park on the snow emergency routes,” PPA Executive Director Vince Fenerty said. “We don’t want to tow you. But in the interest of keeping the city open, we have to do our jobs.” Starting at 5 p.m., the PPA is offering $5-a-day parking at all of its garages. That will continue until at least 7 a.m. on Monday morning. Cars left on snow emergency routes will be issued a $125 ticket and towed to an alternate location. If your car does get towed, call 215-686-SNOW to find out where it is. Read more »

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