A man uses a very small saw to try and help move a fallen tree blocking West Gravers Lane at Germantown Avenue early on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 5. Ice knocked trees down across Chestnut Hill and the rest of Philadelphia's northwest suburbs knocking power out for many. (Photo by Steve Ladner)

A man uses a very small saw to try and help move a fallen tree blocking West Gravers Lane at Germantown Avenue early on the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 5. Ice knocked trees down across Chestnut Hill and the rest of Philadelphia’s northwest suburbs knocking power out for many. (Photo by Steve Ladner)

by Emily Vanneman

Wednesday’s ice storm left few people untouched in Chestnut Hill as it tore down power lines and knocked over trees. With more than 623,000 people without power on Wednesday and 275,000 people still waiting for their power at the end of the week, many people are wondering when the suffering will end and what is in store for us as the weekend approaches.

The ice storm that wracked Philadelphia left a quarter to a half-inch of ice on streets, cars and windows all over the city. As crews from Canada and Arkansas are coming to the aid of citizens in the northeast section of the country, people have begun flocking to libraries and restaurants to find warmth and power outlets.

Many residents are now wondering how the Hill can better prepare for such storms. Amy Edelman, owner of the Night Kitchen Bakery and Café, worries that the issues with Germantown Avenue parking during snowstorms will negatively impact business for the bakery.

Because Germantown Avenue is considered an emergency route during this kind of an emergency, Edelman is thinking of ways to make people more aware of clearing the Avenue of their vehicles.

“There are so few signs about the fact that Germantown Avenue is an emergency route,” Edelman said.

She explained that once the snow is plowed on the crowded road, cars are effectively trapped in piles of snow making it nearly impossible for drop-in customers to pick up their coffee and scones before work.

“We rely solely on Germantown Avenue parking,” she said. “If it’s not easy people won’t do it.”

Edelman has witnessed the effect that the parking issue has on her business.

“I track my sales week to week,” she said, noting that sales plummeted when a snowstorm hits.

Edelman said she hoped that the Chestnut Hill community will come together to make residents more aware of the need to clear Germantown Avenue during wintry weather.

“There are maybe five signs over the two miles stretch of the Avenue,” she said. “More signs would be terrific. Even if it’s a six or seven inch snowstorm, it would be really helpful.”

Chestnut Hill residents are flinching at the weather reports for this coming week. With wintry weather suspected for later in the week, many people are unsure of what to make of the new storm approaching the East Coast.