Friday: Our ride up Route 11

Published: Nov. 18, 2022 at 5:21 PM EST
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Philadelphia, New York (WWNY) - The drive from Watertown to the village of Philadelphia usually takes around 25 minutes. But, it took reporter Zach Grady about 3 hours to get there Friday between navigating the storm and covering what he saw.

On Route 11, just north of Watertown and the split with Route 37, traffic was at a standstill as a UPS truck and tractor-trailer both found themselves on the side of the road.

A couple of minutes north of there, a tow truck being pulled out by two pickups brought the intersection of Routes 11 and 342 to a dead stop.

And where Route 26 and Route 11 meet near Evans Mills, state police shut down the street to prevent more cars from becoming stuck.

Once in Philadelphia, we found many businesses chose to close early or not open at all.

But, Philly Fuels on Route 11 says on days like this, it’s important for them to keep their doors open.

“People need their heating fuel. We also have a convenience store that is open for bread and milk, and essential stuff like that,” said

Joni Bates, manager, Philly Fuels.

When the weather is this bad, small villages like Philadelphia become islands in the storm.

“You don’t realize that you don’t have something and it is very hard to get to someplace like Walmart today when there are vehicles in the ditch or roads that are closed,” said Bates.

As one business stayed open, others decided to close as the snow became too intense.

“It’s been pretty dead. I mean, we’ve had a few people going to the Southern Tier so they’ve stopped, but other than that I don’t think we’ve had very many people,” said Danielle Bauer, Jrecks employee.

Conditions in Philadelphia early Friday evening have started to improve. However, some of the highways to get back to Watertown are still closed.