Under sun and warm temperatures, NJ preps for snow
TRENTON — What a difference a day makes!
On the eve of a major storm storm, preparations were being made with temperatures in the 60s.
Wednesday's warm temperatures will certainly have an effect on Thursday's snow, at least at the start, New Jersey meteorologist Dan Zarrow said.
"I believe it will take a little while for the snow to stick, particularly on paved surfaces, which tend to hold heat fairly well. Of course, with so much snow in the forecast, it is going to stick and accumulate eventually, especially in northern and central New Jersey," Zarrow said.
Department of Transportation trucks are applying de-icer and brine to its roads in areas of the state where the precipitation will begin as snow, according to spokesman Kevin Israel.
"We're readying plow crews and our contractors. Our salt stocks are more than sufficient to handle this storm," Israel said.
"If you see on the roads de-icing or plowing or spreading salt stay back from them and give them room to work. Our crews are often the first first responders" on the freshly fallen snow, Israel said, adding that drivers should be aware of changing conditions during a storm.
Camden County has about 100 pieces of equipment ready to go on 1,400 miles of county roads.
“This will be an all-hands-on-deck weather event for the department and all personnel will be called in to work. The timing of the storm is obviously not good for commuters, and despite today’s warmth, paved surfaces will cover rapidly because of the intensity of the storm," Freeholder Susan Shin Angulo said.
NJ Transit will be ready for the snow as well with 20,000 pounds of salt on hand with the ability to obtain an additional 100,000 pounds, if needed, according to spokesman Jim Smith, who said heaters at stations have been checked to make sure they are working and crews are lined up to plow parking lots and platforms.
"Two jet-engine-powered snow blowers are available to remove ice and snow from tracks and critical switching areas. In addition, all locomotives are equipped with snowplows to clear snow from the rails," Smith said.
Zarrow expects a heavy wet snow which will help bring down trees and power lines more quickly, which adds to the storm preparation.
"Our year-round tree trimming program proactively minimizes downed trees or limbs along the right-of-way and on our overhead electrical system. Personnel are on standby to quickly respond to reports of trees or limbs that could damage overhead wires or prevent safe passage of trains. Our year-round tree trimming program is part of our preventative maintenance program," NJ Transit's Smith said.
PSE&G is also anticipating the heavy snow's effect with extra crews standing by in its service areas.
“We have additional personnel scheduled and on standby, with extra tree crews and equipment at the ready. We’re prepared for whatever the storm brings our way," John Latka, senior vice president of electric and gas operations for PSE&G said.
JCP&L spokesman Ron Morano said his utility is monitoring the storm and suggested that customers should always report the outage via their website or by calling 888-544-4877.
"We always remind customers to immediately report downed wires to us or local police department and to certainly stay away from any downed wires and to use extra caution where there are downed wires in trees or other debris," Morano said.
Several airlines, including American, United, Delta, Southwest and JetBlue, are allowing fliers to make changes ahead of the storm without a penalty from Newark Liberty International Airport, JFK, LaGuardia and Philadelphia.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com.