Don’t be fooled: worst of storm yet to come

National Weather Service map of expected snowfall, with likely power outage area highlighted by emergency officials.

If you woke up this morning and thought “man, where’s the snow? Was this some sort of TV news hype?” Rest assured, the worst is still to come for local Chester County residents — and if anything, the forecast has worsened for much of the county.

While something like 3 to 4 inches of wet, melty snow fell in the overnight, largely not sticking to roadways, things are about to get a lot worse, according to the National Weather Service. The heavy snow is expected to start around 10 a.m. with winds picking up as the day progresses — winds of 25 to 25 MPH with gusts as high as 40 MPH are expected.

The revised forecast has Chester county getting slammed with 8 to 12 inches of snow and high winds — a combination likely to lead to widespread power outages — just days after wind storms ripped through the area and cut power to thousands. The storm should start to slack off sometime around 7 p.m.

Gov. Tom Wolf has already declared a State of Emergency for most eastern Pennsylvania counties, including Chester.

“This storm may not have the extremely high winds as the one last week, but it will dump significant amounts of snow across a wider area and that prospect is moving us to take additional aggressive steps to restrict heavier vehicles from the interstates,” Gov. Wolf said. “We must remember that weather is to a large extent unpredictable, but we are doing our utmost to station resources in as effective way as possible.”

While virtually all schools and government offices are closed in Chester County, residents are warned not to go out unless absolutely necessary as both the rate of snow and winds are expected to pick up as the day goes on, leading to dangers from slick roadways and falling branches and downed trees. The risk is expected to extend into Thursday morning’s commute.

The snow that will fall will be heavy and wet — known as “heart attack snow” — those with physical ailments should take care in trying to remove snow.

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