Updated: schools close, emergencies declared in wake of winter storm

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Snowstorm1 p.m. Updates with closings and snow emergencies

Although it appears Chester County and much of the Delaware Valley will be spared the blizzard conditions and the potential for more than a foot of snow seen in other areas to the north, it will still pack a punch locally, snarling roadways and potentially closing local schools. High winds, with gusts up to 35 MPH, could also lead to power outages, as well.

Two county school districts, Owen J. Roberts and Twin Valley closed Monday due to weather, with more schools closing early because of the weather. Avon Grove, Coatesville, Great Valley, Octorara, Oxford, Phoenixville, Tredyffrin/Easttown all moved to close early Monday. In addition, West Chester University cancelled evening classes.

With the worst of the storm likely in the overnight period, more closings could be possible on Tuesday.

Coatesville and Uchwlan have declared snow emergencies, restricting parking on various streets.

Pennsylvania American Water is asking those with fire hydrants near their homes to clear them of snow, if possible, to make sure local fire companies have quick access if there is a fire.

The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for Chester County through midday Tuesday. Monday night is expected to be the period of the most hazardous travel — and the Chester County Department of Emergency Services is advising folks to stay off the roads Monday night if at all possible.

Right now, snow amounts seem to be tied to how far north and east you are — the greater snow accumulations, with a range of 4 to 8 inches expected in areas around the county. Blowing snow  — expected to be an increasing hazard as winds pick up into Monday evening — is expected to make tricky road conditions even worse.

Snow is expected to intensify Monday afternoon, with some periods seeing 1 to 2 inches of snow per hour, before slowing down and finally coming to an end midday Tuesday, followed by cooler but dry weather into Wednesday.

Still, it could be much worse. Boston is bracing for as much as two feet of snow, while New York City could be seeing historic amounts of snow, high winds and blizzard conditions by Monday night.

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