First snow of the season coming: What to expect on NJ roads, trains
TRENTON — Public works crews spent Friday preparing for the season's first snowfall.
"We're fully stocked and ready to go. The brine applicators are on the roads Friday," New Jersey DOT spokesman Steve Schapiro told New Jersey 101.5, adding that they've been applying the salt water solution designed to prevent snow and ice from sticking.
"Today our crews busy putting the plows on the trucks, putting salts in the trucks. We'll be activating overnight and ready to go as soon as the snow starts to fall," Schapiro said.
Townsquare Media chief meteorologist Dan Zarrow expects 3 to 4 inches of snow to fall statewide with a little more possible to the south and a little less to the northwest.
"I don't think mixing is going to be as big a problem along the coast as I did early this morning. So I will be raising my snow total forecast for the Jersey Shore," Zarrow said.
Zarrow said coastal flooding, icing nor high winds are a major concern with this storm.
Schapiro said drivers out during the storm should slow down and leave extra time for their trip and also leave room for the road crews.
"When you see the trucks out there whether they're plows or salt spreaders stay back and let them do their job. It's very important for them to have the space to do the job to get the roads clear and safe," Schaprio said.
NJ Transit spokesman Jim Smith earlier said crews have been working to prepare for winter storms inspecting and winterizing infrastructure, equipment and stations
For bus operations alone, NJ Transit has 900 tons of bulk salt on standby at 16 garages to clear terminals, lots and bus loops of ice. Another 20,000 pounds of salt are on hand for rail operations.
All locomotives are equipped with snowplows to clear winter precipitation from the rails, the agency noted. In addition, two jet-engine-powered snowblowers are available.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey said it is ready to clear away the snow with dozens of pieces of snow equipment and thousands of tons of salt and sand for use on the bridges and tunnels and airport roads and parking lots.
Plow-equipped trains, liquid snow-melting agent trains and a "jet engine" plow to remove snow from PATH tracks, and snow blowers, plows and spreaders to clear station entrances, roads that serve PATH's 13 stations, and various support facilities are also ready to go if needed.
Zarrow said if the forecast holds, this snowfall will be the first time since 2013 Newark Liberty International receives over three inches of snow.
"Before that was the post-Sandy snow of November 2012, and previous to that was the pre-Halloween snow storm in October 2011," Zarrow said.
Dino Flammia contributed to this report