Phantom blizzard’s cancellations caused more headaches than help

Phantom blizzard’s cancellations caused more headaches than help
Sam Newhouse

The excitement over a promised blizzard may have made a lot of kids happy by creating a snow day. But for parents who missed work, the cancellations hit them right in the wallet.

“It hurts. I need all the money I can get,” said Jonathan James, 46, of North Philly, who said he works at a restaurant and was told not to come in to work due to the predicted snowfall.

Meanwhile, his children missed a day of school.

“It was worse yesterday, and they were in school,” he said, referring to the heavy winds and light snowfall all day Monday.

Many believed the weather Monday was a sign of a foot-and-a-half of snow to come — not the main act in and of itself.

Work was also canceled on Tuesday for Howard Williams, 29, who said he works at a heating and cooling company.

“One day you lost pay — it hurts your budget,” Williams said while doing shopping in North Philly.

“All for nothing,” he said, pointing out the clear streets and snowless sidewalks. “They should have saved the day off for when they really needed it.”

All municipal offices, including the Free Library, were closed, based on a decision made around 10 p.m. when forecasts called for more than 12 inches. But just an hour later meteorologists were reining in their expectations to closer to four to eight inches.

“They had a chance to un-cancel everything, but they didn’t,” said Tanya Snowden, 43, from West Philly, who went to the Parkway Central library only to find it closed.

“I really hope the city is saving some money by closing everything,” she said.

Public transit was also thrown into a snarl by inaccurate forecasts, with SEPTA Regional Rail running on a Saturday schedule.

“I couldn’t get to class today in Montgomery County because of the regional rail schedule,” said a Montgomery County College Student who asked not to be named.

“I understand they have to make decisions about schedules in advance. It is what it is — but it’s annoying,” she said.