Snowfall on a Holiday Weekend Requires Visitors to Be Extra Prepared

Flowers for Martha?This coming weekend promises to be full of red, white and blue.

The red of Valentine's Day will be the backdrop for a host of festivities surrounding romance and roses. On Presidents' Day, the colors of the flag will be prominent, especially given the Valley Forge ties to General George Washington.

The white itself will undoubtedly be snow. Lots of it, if the forecasters are on their marks.

The watchwords for Montgomery County, then, are safety and caution.

Not that you need to hole up until the workweek comes back to life on Tuesday. There are a number of events and celebrations to mark both holidays, most notably those at Valley Forge National Historical Park. With proper preparation, you and your out-of-town guests can still enjoy a memorable time over the extended weekend.

From a practicality standpoint, it is advisable to:

  • Monitor the weather. There may be more snow on the way, so keep attuned to online forecasts for the Valley Forge outlook.
  • Be aware of changing road conditions. Although the nor'easter that is expected to stomp through the Mid-Atlantic States should be gone by Friday, its after-effects on driving may still be felt. The interactive website of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) is helpful for traffic-tracking, especially the arteries that connect Montgomery County to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Amtrak and the Philadelphia International Airport.
  • Plan your accommodation needs ahead of time and check availabilities. Thus far this winter, the hotels in our area have gone above and beyond to accommodate both visitors and those residents displaced by power outages and other weather-related difficulties. This weekend is already showing a number of hotels as full or near full for the Friday-Monday period. For example, a quick survey of local hoteliers as of today shows:
  • Double-check historical, social, dining and cultural sites before heading out. The Seasons 52 Grill in King of Prussia, for instance, plans to be open all weekend but may close today (Thursday) for snow. The Bryn Athyn Historic District has promised to update its status via Facebook and Twitter, using the hashtag we have created for updates: #OpenInMontco.
Bryn Athyn Historic District

These stats will change as time goes by and weather conditions change. Call your intended destination site for specific details. A comprehensive list of hotels county-wide is on our website.

Last, know that Montgomery County itself is standing by, prepared to offer assistance in any way necessary. The county is addressing non-911 situations - meaning those not involving an immediate response by police, fire or ambulance - by fielding calls at 211. This is your contact point for reporting blocked roads, fallen trees, water damage or nonemergency information.

Winter 2014 is shaping up to be one of our most memorable from a weather standpoint. But take heart: Even in the ice storm of last week, we spotted a songbird or two, flitting over the branches of a neighborhood tree.

Stay safe; stay warm; have fun.