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Saucon Valley Digging Out from Epic Snowstorm; Schools Closed Monday, Tuesday

Saucon Valley residents are spending much of Sunday digging out from one of the biggest snowstorms ever to affect the area.

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A Hellertown Department of Public Works plow truck clears snow in the borough after more than 2 feet of it fell during the Blizzard of 2016 Saturday.

A Hellertown Department of Public Works plow truck clears snow in the borough after more than 2 feet of it fell during the Blizzard of 2016 Saturday.

UPDATE: Saucon Valley Schools and district offices will be closed Monday, Jan. 25 to help facilitate post-storm cleanup. St. Theresa School (Hellertown), Moravian Academy and many other local schools will also be closed.

Most Saucon Valley residents are spending Sunday slowly digging out from one of the biggest snowstorms ever to affect the area; a storm that was originally forecast to deposit just 8 to 12 inches of snow on the area. Instead, the Lehigh Valley ended up being in the bullseye of a historic blizzard that dropped snow at rates of as much to three inches an hour for nearly 24 hours.

A car is buried by the snow that fell in the Saucon Valley during the blizzard of Jan. 23, 2016.

A car is buried by the snow that fell in the Saucon Valley during the blizzard of Jan. 23, 2016.

More than two feet of the white stuff was dumped on Hellertown and Lower Saucon Township late Friday and Saturday during the monster Nor’easter, which paralyzed major cities along the I-95 corridor from Washington, D.C., to New York.

New York City received its second biggest snowfall ever–25.9 inches–at Central Park, where records date back to 1869.

According to the National Weather Service, 27 inches of snow was measured by a trained weather spotter at Hellertown Saturday night. Almost 32 inches was the final snowfall total at Lehigh Valley International Airport (Allentown), which is a new record for the area. The previous all-time snowfall record was 25.9 inches, set back in 1996.

Snow plows were put the test by the massive blizzard. Road crews have been working around the clock to clear the roads in Saucon Valley.

Snow plows were put the test by the massive blizzard. Road crews have been working around the clock to clear the roads in Saucon Valley.

A snow emergency remains in effect in the Borough of Hellertown until further notice. Lower Saucon’s snow emergency is scheduled to expire at 6 p.m. Sunday.

According to a message shared by borough officials early Sunday, “Hellertown Public Works is working to keep open all major, secondary and alley roadways.”

The borough is asking residents to refrain from throwing snow back into roadways as they dig out their cars, because doing so hinders the snow removal efforts.

“Additional resources are being mobilized to assist with the snow clean-up effort,” borough officials said. “Contractors will begin to clean snow off of one side of Main Street (Sunday), starting in the center of town near Borough Hall. Additional contractors will arrive on Monday morning to assist with other areas of the borough, such as intersections and other small roads.”

Residents are also being reminded to clear a three-foot radius around fire hydrants, so they will be accessible to firefighters in the event that there is an emergency.

Some businesses remain closed Sunday, while others have had or will have delayed openings. The Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley, for example, opened at noon.

Garbage pickup in Hellertown borough will take place as scheduled on Monday, Jan. 25, however residents/businesses who normally place their garbage at the rear of their properties are being asked to put it OUT FRONT this week (through Friday, Jan. 29) to aid with the collection (dumpsters are excluded).

More information about the storm’s effect on area businesses and organizations can be found on Channel 69 News Stormcenter’s list of updates, which included nearly 800 weather-related announcements as of 1 p.m. Sunday.

Be sure to like Saucon Source on Facebook for updates about the aftermath of the storm, including additional school-related announcements. Saucon Source is also on Instagram and Twitter!

Photos below by Nikki Sandt/Nikki Sandt Photography. Thank you also to Lisa Sasserath Boehm/Sasserath Photography for the photos included in the story, above.

Wells Fargo Bank, Main and Water streets, Hellertown

Wells Fargo Bank, Main and Water streets, Hellertown

Cars became white "lumps" thanks to the blizzard.

Cars became white “lumps” thanks to the blizzard.

Hellertown Borough Hall

Hellertown Borough Hall

With as much as three feet of snow on the ground in places due to drifting, walking became difficult, especially for those who are not as tall.

With as much as three feet of snow on the ground in places due to drifting, walking became difficult, especially for those who are not as tall.

The Hellertown Borough Hall complex on Saturday night, just after the snow stopped falling.

The Hellertown Borough Hall complex on Saturday night, just after the snow stopped falling.

Huge snow piles will be the new norm in parking lots around Saucon Valley. Pictured: The Water Street Plaza shopping center in Hellertown.

Huge snow piles will be the new norm in parking lots around Saucon Valley. Pictured: The Water Street Plaza shopping center in Hellertown.

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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at josh@sauconsource.com.

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